Comedian and actor Chris Rock appeared on The Breakfast Club this week, and one of the topics that came up was cancel culture and how it affects comedy.
You have to understand this isn’t a conservative or libertarian show. I say this because Democrats in the mainstream press and especially at CNN spend a lot of time mocking the idea of cancel culture and signaling that it isn’t really a thing. You know, like they do with Antifa or anything inconvenient to elected Democrats.
But among REAL people, among entertainers who have a craft for example, an art form, it’s a different situation.
These liberal folks know exactly what cancel culture is, of COURSE, and they don’t like it. Bill Maher talks about this a lot, and he is like, a crazy anti-Christian, anti-religion RABID liberal. But they see what CNN anchors don’t want to acknowledge.
That’s why DJ Envy asked Chris Rock “What are your thoughts on cancel culture?”
“Like, you know, if you say something wrong, people will try to cancel you immediately,” he said.
Rock did everything he could to couch his own criticism in a mix of praise and resigned acceptance. He had to. You know, because of cancel culture. If he didn’t couch his criticism in a praise and supplication sandwich they would cancel him in a second.
Kinda proves his point, don’t it?
“It’s weird when you’re a comedian because when you’re a comedian, when the audience doesn’t laugh, we get the message. You don’t really have to cancel us because we get the message. They’re not laughing,” Rock said. “I don’t understand why people feel the need to go beyond that, you know what I mean?”
He blunted that criticism by saying “Honestly, to me, it’s a disrespect. It’s people disrespecting the audience like, ‘oh, you think you know more than the audience?’ The audience knows more than everybody, OK.”
See how he’s making it the case that the audience disapproval is still right, to remove some of the sting of blaming the cancelers from going “beyond that.”
Then he said, “You know but hey, some things don’t need to be said. Some people need to be looked out for, I definitely understand that.”
And then he said “But not letting comedians work is, you know — what happens is everybody gets safe and when everybody gets safe and nobody tries anything, things get boring.”
“So I see a lot of unfunny comedians, I see unfunny TV shows, I see unfunny award shows, I see unfunny movies because no one’s — everybody’s scared to, like, you know, make a move,” he said. “You know, and that’s not a place to be. We should have the right to fail.”
“Because failure, failure is a part of art,” he said. “It’s the ultimate cancel, you know what I mean?”
Now ain’t that a great line? I should frame it. Put it on a pillow. “We should have the right to fail.” Darn well said, sir.
“But now you’ve got a place where people are scared to talk, that’s not, you know, especially in America. You’re scared to talk. Gah.”
Still, as I said he had to couch it. “But you know, it’s what people want. Gotta make adjustments. And, you know, let’s do it.”
See how careful even Chris Rock had to be just to say the relatively mild and obvious thing that making people afraid to talk isn’t good? That’s how bad it is. He not only explained it, he DEMONSTRATED it.
PS. for the libs who pretend there’s no clear meaning for “Cancel Culture”, this explanation from The Independent is pretty good:
“Cancel culture” is a term used to describe the mass shaming or condemnation of individuals (often celebrities) who have done or said something that has been construed as offensive.
See how easy that was, libs? It’s not boycotting Facebook for silencing speech. That’s not cancel culture. The silencing of speech is cancel culture. Boycotting Facebook is just … smart.