'Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution' explores how comics of color changed culture

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan via WLS logo
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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"The Right To Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution" is a two-part documentary on A&E exploring how artists of color have changed the culture.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "The Right To Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution" is a two-part documentary on A & E exploring how artists of color have challenged and changed the culture.

That includes the legendary Dick Gregory, who launched his career in Chicago. His son, Christian, worked with him and takes part in the special.

"There's 10 Gregory children, we were all born in Chicago, so Chicago is what was home for all of us," Christian Gregory said. "Chicago provided him such a nurturing environment, it really allowed him to go on to be the iconic comedian, and even more important, by his own words, the civil rights activist and human rights activist he ultimately became. Chicago was the springboard of that. It was the small clubs on the South Side that made Dick Gregory who he was."

Gregory broke down barriers for Black comedians in Chicago.

"When he broke barriers, he didn't just hold the door open, he ripped the door of the frames," his son said. "My dad always believed in legacy, preservation, and having people who loved you protect your legacy. It shows the adversity that these human beings, not entertainers, endured and in spite of that they went on to shake up the world.

Of the documentary's name, Gregory said: "You have a right to carry on and say what you feel, and people always have an option to not listen to what you have to say, but I think it's important they stand up for their First Amendment rights and their art form is protected."

The two-part documentary event "Right To Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution" airs Wednesday, June 29, and Thursday, June 30, at 8 p.m. on A&E.