Mortality, moral regulation, and (im)moral entrepreneurship in My Favorite Murder

Green, Richard and Michael-Fox, Bethan (2023). Mortality, moral regulation, and (im)moral entrepreneurship in My Favorite Murder. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2023.2215971

Abstract

As mediated death has become a staple of contemporary society, debates about the treatment of death in the public domain abound. This article examines the true crime comedy podcast My Favorite Murder, arguing that it functions to produce a collaboratively ‘provocative morbid space’ in which its hosts and audiences can engage in contemplating, discussing, and negotiating the politics of murder, victimhood, and their surrounding inequalities. My Favorite Murder explicitly positions itself as provocative and morally ambiguous, raising questions about who has ownership, legitimacy, and moral standing when it comes to discussing death. We argue that the podcast both reflects public fascination with death and functions to enact a socially progressive agenda through controversial and entertaining popular cultural engagement with the sensitive subject of murder. With the hosts acting as what we term ‘(im)moral entrepreneurs’ collaboratively producing with audiences ‘counter cultural (im)moral discourses’, the commercially successful podcast offers a version of the ‘cautionary tale’ that foregrounds the sociocultural inequalities that have contributed to the vast array of murders discussed across its 300+ existing episodes.

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