Recently, many high-profile comedians have decided to stop doing shows at universities because they believe students are too easily offended by their jokes. Some think this is a symptom of a culture that has gotten too politically correct. Others just say that sensibilities always change with the times and they are just protecting once overlooked marginalized groups. There’s always been controversial comedians and people that enjoy making fun of powerful people and saying things that society may not deem appropriate. Throughout history, people have been beaten, arrested and even killed for joking about the wrong thing or person. We Americans have pride in our freedoms and the freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution, but there is an endless debate on where the line should be drawn. Comedians have consistently pushed that line and have been shocking and controversial mainly just to get laughs. Sometimes, however, they push the line to not just be funny, but to shine a light on injustices or absurdities in society. In the 1960s, comedians like George Carlin and Lenny Bruce were big supporters of the Free Speech Movement that was popular on college campuses. Today, it seems like many college students have the opposite view of the Free Speech Movement, which felt there should be no punishment for saying mere words. Instead, they wish to ban any speakers, including comedians, whose language they deem offensive or can be misconstrued as hate speech. Supporters of speech codes on campus say they prevent the spread of hateful ideas. Opponents say censoring any speech prevents a free flow of ideas and leads to groupthink. In addition, they say you beat hateful or bad speech with good, logical, sane speech and not with censorship. Here’s what various comedians have to say about performing on college campuses:

Chris Rock said he no longer plays college because they are too conservative:

“Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of “We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.” Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say “the black kid over there.” No, it’s “the guy with the red shoes.” You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.”

Sarah Silverman, who is no stranger to being attacked for telling jokes that aren’t particularly “politically correct:”

“To a degree, everyone’s going to be offended by something, so you can’t just decide on your material based on not offending anyone. But, I do think it’s important, as a comedian, as a human, to change with the times. To change with new information. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with changing with the times. I think it’s a sign of being old when you are put off by that.”

Bill Maher on being disinvited, then re-invited to UC Berkeley:

“They got their act together and I wound up doing it…” Maher said. “But Berkeley, you know, used to be the cradle of free speech, and now it’s just the cradle for fucking babies.”

Jerry Seinfeld on why he no longer performs at colleges:

“I hear that all the time,” Seinfeld said. “I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC (politically correct).’ I’ll give you an example: My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple years, I think maybe you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.’ You know what my daughter says? She says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist’; ‘That’s sexist’; ‘That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what they’re talking about.

Amy Schumer on why extreme language policing can be harmful to comedy and society:

“I enjoy playing the girl who time to time says the dumbest thing possible and playing with race is a thing we are not supposed to do, which is what makes it so fun for comics. You can call it a ‘blind spot for racism’ or ‘lazy’ but you are wrong. It is a joke and it is funny. I know that because people laugh at it. Even if you personally did not. I am not going to start joking about the safe material. And don’t ask that of me. I love what I do and won’t let anyone take that away. I ask you to resist the urge to pick me I am not racist. I am a devout feminist and lover of all people. My fight is for all people to be treated equally. So move on to the next person who is more deserving of your scrutiny and not the girl in your corner.”