Famed director Todd Phillips, who is best known for “The Hangover” trilogy and “Old School,” is steering away from comedy these days and that’s evident of his latest outing, “Joker,” which has made nearly $900 million at the worldwide box office.
Phillips told Vanity Fair an interview promoting the film, “Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture. These articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore – I’ll tell you why, because all the f—king funny guys are like, ‘f—k this sh-t, because I don’t want to offend you.’”
But many don’t agree with Phillips. And many standup comedians bluntly weighed on the new “cancel culture” sweeping the nation.
Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr are two comedians who emphatically try to bust up the toxic “cancel culture” pervading the comedic art form nowadays and they proved with their respective Netflix specials “Sticks & Stones” and “Paper Tiger.”
On Sunday night, Chappelle was in Washington, D.C. to collect the coveted Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center.
The 46-year-old also told reporters on the red carpet, “Political correctness has its place. We all want to live in a polite society; we just kind of have to work on the levels of coming to an agreement of what that actually looks like. I, personally, am not afraid of other people’s freedom of expression. I don’t use it as a weapon. It just makes me feel better. And I’m sorry if I hurt anybody.”And then he hilariously added, “Yada, yada, everything I’m supposed to say.”
But other comedians are weighing on the topic as well.
Eddie Murphy is about to have a career resurgence, starring in his new film “Dolemite is My Name,” which is already getting Oscar buzz and also inking a mind blowing $70 million deal for a new standup special slated to premiere on the streaming platform next year.
Murphy shared Chappelle’s sentiments saying, “I think the art form is soaring higher than it’s ever soared. Every now and then somebody might say something that ruffles somebody’s feathers or steps on somebody’s toes or whatever, but for the most part, it’s bigger and more global and more diverse than it’s ever been.”
Murphy’s co-star in “Dolemite is My Name,” Keegan-Michael Key, best known for his hit Comedy Central sketch show “Key & Peele,” said “Sometimes we’re offended, but other times, are you offended, or are you afraid to hear something that maybe needs to be said?”
Another co-star of “Dolemite is My Name,” openly gay actor Tituss Burgess told Yahoo Entertainment recently, “It’s not going away. When you’ve got people like Dave Chappelle who offends the f—k out of me, but it’s funny, and I laugh. I think about what he said, it offends me, but what he said is funny. So f—k cancel culture.”
Some standup comedians are seeing the effects of the new cancel culture.
Kevin Hart dropped out of hosting the Academy Awards earlier this year because of a decade-old tweet that resurfaced where he joked about what he would do if his son were homosexual.
Even more recently was Shane Gillis, the comedian who was hired to be a part of the “Saturday Night Live” cast, who was fired because of a weird unfunny rant about his disdain for Chinese people.
Gillis noted after being fired, “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of bad misses. I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”
Everyone makes mistakes. Is that really a reason to ruin their life?
As it says in John 8:7 “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”