The day has come: America's most lewd and offensive card game has officially gone too far. A transphobic Cards Against Humanity card reading "Passable Transvestites" drew an apology from the game's creator on Tumblr a week ago. A Tumblr user going by the name "horriblepeople" (his real name is Jonah, Fusion and Mic report) recently found the card, lit it on fire, and posted the pictures on his Tumblr with the all-caps note: "DEATH TO TRANSPHOBIA." Jonah's note was posted a week ago, and as of this writing it had more than 50,000 notes attached to it.
Jonah ended up with a personal response courtesy of Max Temkin, the co-creator of the game that describes itself as "a party game for horrible people."
I regret writing this card, it was a mean, cheap joke. We took it out of the game a while ago.
The Apples to Apples-style game started with a Kickstarter and quickly became a sensation. Because of that, Temkin said, many of the cards didn't initially take into account such a wide audience. Still, that doesn't make the card OK, which Temkin seemed to acknowledge to Fusion.
We were writing jokes for ourselves and we weren't really thinking about how it would affect other people. But when you have something that starts to be part of pop culture, you can't help but see how it makes people feel and feel some sense of responsibility for that. ... It's embarrassing to me that there was a time in my life that that was funny.
One user, turrtles, wrote that the joke just wasn't funny.
Because that joke isn’t tasteful. Offensive humor is fine if it’s done right. With that card the joke is tranvestites look strange, which is not funny, just offensive.
Others, though, thought the controversy was curious given that Cards Against Humanity is meant to be offensive.
The generally-caustic National Review jumped on that train, calling the note and Temkin's response a politically-correct move pushed by the "terminally humorless." Because jokes at the expense of transgender people are hilarious!
But Temkin told Fusion he disagreed with the detractors. And at the end of the day, he's the one with the power to decide.
We talk about the idea of 'punching up, not punching down' all the time. It's something that we stand behind: making fun of those power structures, because they're already powerful. Making jokes about rapes, making jokes about trans people, they don't have the same cultural power.
Makes sense. So we're inclined to agree with Tumblr user almost-eventually-right, who said this to people protesting Temkin's apology on the site:
Cards Against Humanity is a group of people writing immensely offensive joke prompts and punchlines for a living, and if they’re collectively a better person than you are when it comes to being called out on offensive language and jokes, you should really reconsider your behavior.