21 votes

Todd Phillips Thinks Cancel Culture Ruined Comedy. Maybe He’s Just Not Funny Anymore.

59 comments

  1. [4]
    hamstergeddon
    (edited )
    Link
    There's so much great comedy coming out these days I don't know how he could seriously believe that. What We Do In The Shadows, South Park, Bob's Burgers, Whose Line, Booksmart, Deadpool, Big...

    There's so much great comedy coming out these days I don't know how he could seriously believe that. What We Do In The Shadows, South Park, Bob's Burgers, Whose Line, Booksmart, Deadpool, Big Mouth, Brooklyn 99, Kimmy Schmidt, etc. All hilarious and diverse styles of comedy from the last year or two. What he really means is that the style of humor his career was built on in the mid-00s has fallen out of favor and he can't keep up.

    29 votes
    1. stephen
      Link Parent
      This is basically a rich old man getting mad he can't get richer from selling jokes that victimize marginalized groups he doesn't belong to. Comedy is only "ruined" for people who wanna make less...

      This is basically a rich old man getting mad he can't get richer from selling jokes that victimize marginalized groups he doesn't belong to. Comedy is only "ruined" for people who wanna make less powerful groups of people the butts of their "jokes." Which I would argue means its safer for the rest of us.

      12 votes
    2. [2]
      JoylessAubergine
      Link Parent
      Wardogs was released in 2016

      Wardogs was released in 2016

      4 votes
      1. hamstergeddon
        Link Parent
        Oh, my bad! I was looking over his list of movies and while I'd seen most of them, that wasn't one of them and wouldn't have guessed it was a comedy by the name. I'll update my comment then.

        Oh, my bad! I was looking over his list of movies and while I'd seen most of them, that wasn't one of them and wouldn't have guessed it was a comedy by the name. I'll update my comment then.

        3 votes
  2. [2]
    RapidEyeMovement
    Link
    I think it is important to go to the source of this article and read it for yourself. I do not come away with the same reading that the writer Dave Holmes of the Esquire piece does.

    I think it is important to go to the source of this article and read it for yourself.

    Phillips, who directed the comedies Old School and the Hangover series, pitched the idea of a Joker movie to Warner Bros. as a kind of anti-superhero film, with practically no CGI effects or cartoonish plots, but instead a dark realism drained of heroics. Phillips had found it increasingly difficult, he says, to make comedies in the new “woke” Hollywood, and his brand of irreverent bro humor has lost favor.

    “Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” he says. “There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the fucking funny guys are like, ‘Fuck this shit, because I don’t want to offend you.’ It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies—I think that what comedies in general all have in common—is they’re irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but fuck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”

    I do not come away with the same reading that the writer Dave Holmes of the Esquire piece does.

    17 votes
    1. CrampedQuadrature
      Link Parent
      Yeah, seems a lot of people are just looking to condemn him and The Joker because of the incel association or whatever. Lots of baseless character assassination nonsense.

      Yeah, seems a lot of people are just looking to condemn him and The Joker because of the incel association or whatever. Lots of baseless character assassination nonsense.

      7 votes
  3. [7]
    ibis
    Link
    "Old man gets angry because people don't think he's funny"

    "Old man gets angry because people don't think he's funny"

    12 votes
    1. [6]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      Perhaps we shouldn't equate twitter outrage and real people's feelings?

      Perhaps we shouldn't equate twitter outrage and real people's feelings?

      13 votes
      1. [5]
        JXM
        Link Parent
        I absolutely hate when people/news organizations do this. Even CNN has been putting random tweets from people in articles as proof that "regular people" are upset about something.

        I absolutely hate when people/news organizations do this. Even CNN has been putting random tweets from people in articles as proof that "regular people" are upset about something.

        15 votes
        1. [4]
          Greg
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I'm deeply disappointed to see the BBC doing this too. They're throwing tweets from arbitrary people into articles, and it particularly gets to me when they decide to show something with 6...

          Yeah, I'm deeply disappointed to see the BBC doing this too.

          They're throwing tweets from arbitrary people into articles, and it particularly gets to me when they decide to show something with 6 likes and 2 retweets as evidence for a sweeping statement about "the public", or go down the "both sides" route and equate a tweet from a subject matter expert to one from someone who knows less than nothing about the topic at hand.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            Sahasrahla
            Link Parent
            Now that I think about it news organizations have always done this, in a way. Except they used to have to go stand on a street corner and interview passersby so they could have a few "regular...

            Now that I think about it news organizations have always done this, in a way. Except they used to have to go stand on a street corner and interview passersby so they could have a few "regular person" takes they could hold up as representative of public opinion. The main difference now is it's a lot cheaper and easier to cherry pick a few tweets on a topic than it is to pay a reporter (and maybe a camera person or photographer) to go out for an afternoon.

            4 votes
            1. timo
              Link Parent
              The difference is that they can actually ask people in the street directly for more information. Why they think this or that. Substantiate their claims. Now it's just random people liking or...

              The difference is that they can actually ask people in the street directly for more information. Why they think this or that. Substantiate their claims. Now it's just random people liking or disliking something. It doesn't add anything.

          2. JXM
            Link Parent
            It's the even lazier version of just asking random people on the street what they think about something. It doesn't really add anything to the story and just makes it easier to discount everything...

            It's the even lazier version of just asking random people on the street what they think about something. It doesn't really add anything to the story and just makes it easier to discount everything else they say.

            3 votes
  4. [4]
    JXM
    Link
    I think this is a great encapsulation of exactly what's happening now. People's taste in comedy has changed. It's not better or worse. Just different. And Todd Phillips is mad because no one is...

    Here's an example of how comedy changes over time: If you are Todd Phillips, or anyone who has recently made the argument that our culture is too sensitive, I would like you to do something for me. I would like you to go to the nearest open mic, tonight, and do your very best Jimmy Carter impression.

    I think this is a great encapsulation of exactly what's happening now. People's taste in comedy has changed. It's not better or worse. Just different. And Todd Phillips is mad because no one is laughing at his jokes that seem old and dated now.

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      CharlieConway
      Link Parent
      That and as the article points out: There's a world of difference between gleaning some insight into problems with your directing/writing by reading professional reviewers in 2000 and actually...

      That and as the article points out:

      People are no more sensitive now than they were before, they can just get their criticisms right to you now.

      There's a world of difference between gleaning some insight into problems with your directing/writing by reading professional reviewers in 2000 and actually being able to see what people didn't like about it in 2019 when the average person can tweet about it and there's a chance you may see it.

      So I don't think people are suddenly too sensitive. It's just that as a writer or director there's much less of a barrier between art and audience. It's only natural to pushback against that when someone realizes that maybe their comedy isn't as great, or relevant, as it may have been.

      Todd Phillips can vent his frustrations about working in modern comedy if he likes but it seems lazy to just blame it on "cancel culture" when it seems like he's just unwilling to grow alongside the genre.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        RapidEyeMovement
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It's funny that touch upon a couple of things, that I think are interesting. One that Todd Phillip is probably frustrated that his brand of comedy doesn't work in today's landscape, and I think...

        It's funny that touch upon a couple of things, that I think are interesting. One that Todd Phillip is probably frustrated that his brand of comedy doesn't work in today's landscape, and I think any person would be after building a career on it. I don't think he gets a pass because he is frustrated, but he also seems self-aware enough to try something different. It is also interesting that Phillip never references "cancel culture" that comes from Dave Holmes interpretations of what Phillip is saying. I do not think “woke” Hollywood and "cancel culture" are a one to one relationship

        Link to Todd Phillip Quote

        5 votes
        1. CharlieConway
          Link Parent
          Fair enough, I shouldn't have used it interchangeably even if the article's author tried to connect his actual statement on "woke hollywood" with it. I do agree with you though, he's at least self...

          It is also interesting that Phillip never references "cancel culture" that comes from Dave Holmes interpretations of what Phillip is saying. I do not think “woke” Hollywood and "cancel culture" are a one to one relationship

          Fair enough, I shouldn't have used it interchangeably even if the article's author tried to connect his actual statement on "woke hollywood" with it.

          I do agree with you though, he's at least self aware enough to carry on with something new. It seems like Joker has been a successful transition into a new genre where he may not feel so constrained. It'll be interesting to see where he goes from there.

          2 votes
  5. [5]
    stephen
    (edited )
    Link
    I wonder if Todd Phillips can name a single person who has been definitively cancelled for something they said. I know I sure can't. Kevin Hart said he would beat his son if he was gay. Kevin Hart...

    I wonder if Todd Phillips can name a single person who has been definitively cancelled for something they said. I know I sure can't. Kevin Hart said he would beat his son if he was gay. Kevin Hart certainly isn't "cancelled." Shit even literal rapists like Roman Polanski aren't "cancelled." Mel Gibson has made eleven movies with three on the way since his drunken rant about tHe JeWs.

    The push back against cancel culture is ridiculous. First and foremost the fact that it is even named in the first place as though it were some novel development by hysterical internet people. No! "Cancel culture" is just rich, famous people facing consequences for using their platform to be shitty to marginalized people. What Todd Phillips is saying is that shitty entitled famous men should be free from repercussions for being shitty with their platform and normalizing shittiness for the rest of us. That no one should be able to say anything to them about their "jokes."

    The most annoying part of it is these fuckers invoke George Fucking Carlin and the Seven Words You Can't Say On TV. I tried and can't find the clip but there's a bit where Carlin talk about it matters who is being offensive and in what context. That's true today as it was now. If you can't be funny without punching down, deriding groups of people you don't belong and who straight white society has historically othered then you are a shit comedian.

    I'm willing to admit I'm sensitive if these people are willing to admit that they are insensitive.

    9 votes
    1. [4]
      nothis
      Link Parent
      I think the James Gunn firing from Guardians is the clearest example of what he's talking about. It was fake outrage, of course, orchestrated by the right, but it worked because it was virtually...

      I think the James Gunn firing from Guardians is the clearest example of what he's talking about. It was fake outrage, of course, orchestrated by the right, but it worked because it was virtually indistinguishable from genuine outrage.

      The way I see it, a comedian works based on an unspoken contract with the audience that gives permission to say outrageous things – if funny. There's satire (imitating people you might dislike), there's questioning taboos (basically every episode of Southpark, ever). There's also a risk in whether the audience will actually find it funny, and that always existed. A lot of it, though, is basically taking things everyone thinks and making fun of it by saying it out loud. And people think a lot of dark shit. It's not about making people feel good about thinking these things, it's more some kind of therapeutic exercise in putting it in the open. Making it something that exists on the surface rather than suppressed in some angry back-pocket of the brain. So we can point at it and talk about it. And I think that's what comedians are now more afraid of doing and it might not be healthy.

      For example, the Kevin Hart comments: You can say those kinds of things in context to point out the crassness of it and then it's not hateful or damaging. Like, here's an interesting Twitter thread that compares Hart's comments to those of several other comedians using "homophobic" language. The difference is context. And do we currently have discussion culture capable of that? I doubt it. The James Gunn thing is maybe a rather unique example but it's exactly that: A failure to recognize context.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        stephen
        Link Parent
        James Gunn got his job back so if anything it's an example of what I am talking about. Literally nothing happened to him in the long term. He wasn't CaNceLLEd or anything. I don't think some rich...

        James Gunn got his job back so if anything it's an example of what I am talking about. Literally nothing happened to him in the long term. He wasn't CaNceLLEd or anything.

        I don't think some rich asshole needs to get on TV and make a bunch of, say, transphobic remarks for there to be a conversation about transphobia. If someone felt inclined to do it in the past I am more than happy that they feel fear of persecution now.

        It's sort of like the fear of persecution that trans people might feel being openly trans. Except rich TV asshole can decide to stop.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Loire
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          He got his job back because there was a legitimate push back against his firing. Its not like he'd be doing GotG3 if fans didn't rail against Disney'd knee jerk reaction. Why do you keep bringing...

          He got his job back because there was a legitimate push back against his firing. Its not like he'd be doing GotG3 if fans didn't rail against Disney'd knee jerk reaction.

          Why do you keep bringing up "rich assholes" like you've got a bone to pick. Poor assholes say disgusting shit and conplain that they want to get away with it significantly more than your chose targets.

          Edit: Groups of poor conservative white men have shown themselves as a group, to wield more power in this country than any hollywood type you are railing against.

          4 votes
          1. stephen
            Link Parent
            I bring up these people's wealth because it is part of the issue. As far as I know, this sort of thing only happens to celebrities. I could be wrong. Moreover, they are celebrities who make their...

            I bring up these people's wealth because it is part of the issue. As far as I know, this sort of thing only happens to celebrities. I could be wrong. Moreover, they are celebrities who make their money peddling and profiting from insensitive attempts at humor.

            It is also pertinent because these are literally the most privileged segment of society and the hill they are choosing to die on is "we reserve the right to make big budget movies and shows with casual misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racial stereotypes, etc. etc. etc."

            Also the notion that poor white people have more power than the hollywood elite... yeah okay.

            1 vote
  6. [19]
    CrampedQuadrature
    Link
    The problem is people aren't just condemning you anymore, they are organizing and harassing and silencing people they disagree with over aesthetic matters. People can't just see shitty comedy and...

    The problem is people aren't just condemning you anymore, they are organizing and harassing and silencing people they disagree with over aesthetic matters.

    People can't just see shitty comedy and tune it out. They have to extirpate it because they see themselves as warriors on a true quest to destroy evil or somesuch nonsense. It's rage and hate, turning over into violence towards those who do not share in the belief system.

    Frankly I don't blame the comedians, they just want to do their job and not deal with this bullshit of know-nothings deciding they are arbiters of what is true and good. No different than the religious wars, but now the issue isn't how to believe in God, it's what you can say publicly in certain art forms.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      stephen
      Link Parent
      Is writing, selling tickets to, filming editing, and distributing Kevin Hart's special where he said he'd beat his son if he was gay not a much more organized form of hate and harassment? Is this...

      Is writing, selling tickets to, filming editing, and distributing Kevin Hart's special where he said he'd beat his son if he was gay not a much more organized form of hate and harassment? Is this not him saying he would like to destroy his son's entirely hypothetical homosexuality? Is it not perhaps more egregious an act of his end since he is a rich man with a big platform compared to a handful of twitter people?

      12 votes
      1. [2]
        welly
        Link Parent
        How long are we held accountable for things we may have said or done in the past? Is there a point where if we have since apologised for a misdemeanor that we are allowed to move on? It seems to...

        How long are we held accountable for things we may have said or done in the past? Is there a point where if we have since apologised for a misdemeanor that we are allowed to move on?

        It seems to me that many of these celebrities are still being held accountable for things in the long distant past.

        Of course, there are actions that are absolutely inexcusable but, as little as I know about this particular story, Kevin Hart (who I know little to nothing about) made these comments 10 years ago. Does he continue to hold these views and bring them up when he's on stage? Is it fair he is still being chastised for something he said all that time ago?

        3 votes
        1. stephen
          Link Parent
          Plenty of people have been allowed to move on without making an apology. And again, I can't stress this enough, none of these celebrities have faced long term consequences. As it would so happen...

          Is there a point where if we have since apologised for a misdemeanor that we are allowed to move on?

          Plenty of people have been allowed to move on without making an apology. And again, I can't stress this enough, none of these celebrities have faced long term consequences. As it would so happen Hart is a great example of this.

          as little as I know about this particular story,

          Same. Did some little reading so here's my two cents.

          The problem with Kevin Hart specifically is he made overt homophobic remarks on several occasions (for example those from a decade ago) and then repeatedly refused (in 2015 and then again in 2019) to apologize (source).

          He's since apologized, said he had learned and will do better. So as far as I'm concerned he should be allowed to move on and have the opportunity to make special with no homophobic remarks which I'm sure he will get to do because he is still famous as hell.

          I think we can agree not getting to host the Oscars is a fair time-out for continually being unapologetic about saying you would beat your gay son. And more, that still having a career is an entirely fair outcome for accepting your timeout and saying you have learned from your mistake. Since then he's been in about a half dozen movies or comedy specials so his career is intact and AFAIK he has learned and grown and most people either did not and do not care or have also moved on.

          2 votes
    2. [12]
      papasquat
      Link Parent
      Are they though? I'm not the type of person to get offended by stuff, I spent most of my childhood on 4chan laughing at crass, edgy, racist, and tasteless humor, but I don't think the argument...

      Are they though? I'm not the type of person to get offended by stuff, I spent most of my childhood on 4chan laughing at crass, edgy, racist, and tasteless humor, but I don't think the argument that people's careers are getting ruined left and right for jokes they told holds much water.

      I think that very large, family friendly companies are trying to avoid controversy in a few cases (James Gunn and Disney), but I don't think it's nearly as widespread as people are making it out to be. I was initially agreeing with Mr. Phillips, but then I wracked my brain trying to think of more than one or two examples, and I really can't come up with anything.

      6 votes
      1. [4]
        CrampedQuadrature
        Link Parent
        It's not widespread, but it's a new tool in the culture wars that has undeniable impact. One that people fear, rightfully so. What is more widespread is the general consensus that young people no...

        It's not widespread, but it's a new tool in the culture wars that has undeniable impact. One that people fear, rightfully so.

        What is more widespread is the general consensus that young people no longer have the patience to not overreact to shit. They can't ignore it, they have to whip up a mob and kill it. Plenty of articles about that in a variety of contexts outside of comedy.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          ibis
          Link Parent
          Yes, kids these days. Like the kids of 1959 who cancelled Eddie Fisher for having an affair, or 2003, when the dixie checks got cancelled. It’s almost as if this has literally always happened, and...

          Yes, kids these days.

          Like the kids of 1959 who cancelled Eddie Fisher for having an affair, or 2003, when the dixie checks got cancelled.

          It’s almost as if this has literally always happened, and people are just upset now because minorities are also having their reactions taken into consideration.

          10 votes
          1. stephen
            Link Parent
            The Dixie Chicks got cancelled by the political elite for speaking out against what I think most people would describe as war crimes and the Bush admin lying about a war that killed thousands of...

            The Dixie Chicks got cancelled by the political elite for speaking out against what I think most people would describe as war crimes and the Bush admin lying about a war that killed thousands of people. I take your point that people getting their careers impacted but its not that similar. If anything it's more similar to what happened to Colin Kaepernick.

            people are just upset now because minorities are also having their reactions taken into consideration.

            Church yo!

            1 vote
        2. stephen
          Link Parent
          On whom? Roman Polanski? Mel Gibson? Louis C.K.? These people all have careers and incomes.

          undeniable impact

          On whom? Roman Polanski? Mel Gibson? Louis C.K.? These people all have careers and incomes.

          6 votes
      2. [4]
        RapidEyeMovement
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        While I understand this argument and do think it is interesting and not entirely wrong , it is also a bit to reductionist. People are experiencing a loss of opportunities, their careers are put on...

        but I don't think the argument that people's careers are getting ruined left and right for jokes they told holds much water.

        While I understand this argument and do think it is interesting and not entirely wrong , it is also a bit to reductionist. People are experiencing a loss of opportunities, their careers are put on hold or diminished. They are not coming out the other end where they started.

        I also really don't have much of a problem with most of the fall out that people have experienced. which shows my views on this a fluid right now, I don't have a good framework to build off of yet. But I think my unease comes from the public being the judge and executioner. That their is no path to atonement, so neither side is ever satisfied. Their is no impartiality. You cannot ask for forgiveness and do your time" and move past it.

        I also don't have answers, so I don't have an alternative, just a sense of unease over the whole process or lack there of.

        EDIT: Sorry, I think I did a little bit of straw-manning of your argument to address cancel culture and not really your comment of "careers are getting ruined left and right for jokes"

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Gaywallet
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I think we should be careful comparing job loss due to increased automation, technology advances, exporting labor, and other causes with what's going on here. In my mind Todd Phillips and other...

          but I don't think the argument that people's careers are getting ruined left and right for jokes they told holds much water.

          While I understand this argument and do think it is interesting and not entirely wrong , it is also a bit to reductionist. People are experiencing a loss of opportunities, their careers are put on hold or diminished. They are not coming out the other end where they started.

          I think we should be careful comparing job loss due to increased automation, technology advances, exporting labor, and other causes with what's going on here.

          In my mind Todd Phillips and other dinosaurs like him are becoming less and less popular with comedy because their comedy is quite frankly, not very good. With an increasingly connected world, it's not difficult to find other comedy writers who do a better job. There are absolutely comedians out there who do a good job at making jokes about minorities, the difference is that they are ingrained enough in the culture to understand how to make jokes about these minorities rather than just repeating the same bad jokes that Phillips and others became famous for.

          A good example of this kind of outrage that comes to mind is how people were upset that Dave Chappelle has continued to make the exact same trans joke over and over again (general trope is shock at discovering a girl had a penis). The reason they were upset is that the joke was just plain bad - there was seemingly little to no attempt to make a smart or good joke. Meanwhile popular youtuber contrapoints continues to make plenty of much more sophisticated jokes about trans people (such as her radical communist catgirl trans persona) and people aren't chiding her for it because they are jokes which capitalize on an intimate understanding of the culture and aren't just cheap jokes like LOL SHE HAS A DICK.

          EDIT: a word

          6 votes
          1. RapidEyeMovement
            Link Parent
            I think this is mostly true, but I would say that tastes have changed and so has culture, the things that were once irreverent comedies become common place and banal. I didn't mean to talk about...

            In my mind Todd Phillips and other dinosaurs like him are becoming less and less popular with comedy because their comedy is quite frankly, not very good.

            I think this is mostly true, but I would say that tastes have changed and so has culture, the things that were once irreverent comedies become common place and banal.

            I didn't mean to talk about automation job loss, if I didn't I would gladly clear up the wording of my post

            1 vote
        2. stephen
          Link Parent
          Perhaps you are overlooking the possibility that these people had it coming and that they really haven't suffered all that much considering the great wealth and fame many of them enjoy. No one is...

          I also really don't have much of a problem with most of the fall out that people have experienced.

          Perhaps you are overlooking the possibility that these people had it coming and that they really haven't suffered all that much considering the great wealth and fame many of them enjoy. No one is getting executed in any sense. Rosie O'Donnell has 350 thousand followers on instagram. Kevin Hart still gets lucrative movie deals. People are most certainly being allowed to move past these incidents. Hell! Roman Polanski a literal child rapist still has fans and gets ovations at film fests!

          A brief moment of public discomfort in exchange for these people making money off of content that makes thousands and thousands of people potentially feel shitty is quite fair to me.

          Why be uneasy about people abusing their public platforms to spread shittiness and intolerance?

          3 votes
      3. [2]
        45930
        Link Parent
        James Gunn and Kevin Hart come to mind, although they both seemed to maneuver it ok. Louis CK and Aziz Ansari didn't "say" something so much as "do" something. Louis was thoroughly cancelled, Aziz...

        James Gunn and Kevin Hart come to mind, although they both seemed to maneuver it ok. Louis CK and Aziz Ansari didn't "say" something so much as "do" something. Louis was thoroughly cancelled, Aziz might be able to make it back, but he certainly had a career setback at best. When it comes to Louis, I think he certainly did something wrong, but tons of people have done something wrong and are still famous. I think it gets to this idea that comedy fans are very harsh and ready to pounce if they get an opening. Compared to say, sports fans, music fans, etc... So if Louis gets cancelled but Chris Brown doesn't, then yeah people might try to steer their careers away from comedy.

        It sort of reminds me of gamers. Very well known for being demanding and critical, but also represent such a valuable market that you have to cater to them. The socially conscious media consumer is in a similar position I think.

        1 vote
        1. stephen
          Link Parent
          Louis is literally on your right at this very moment. Lol. At best he was put in timeout. You mean the ones that cyberbullied and made death threats on Anita Sarkeesian?? Yeah okay maybe some of...

          Louis was thoroughly cancelled

          Louis is literally on your right at this very moment. Lol. At best he was put in timeout.

          It sort of reminds me of gamers.

          You mean the ones that cyberbullied and made death threats on Anita Sarkeesian?? Yeah okay maybe some of the people criticizing Louis went to far for whipping and stroking his weird goblin penis in front of several unwilling women but I don't think his wikipedia page has anything like this on it:

          Sarkeesian canceled the event, however, feeling the planned security measures were insufficient given that the university could not prohibit handguns in the venue per Utah state law

          How many times was that man made to fear for his physical safety in public because of a terrorist threat? I get why you made that comparison but Gamergate is so fuckin different.

      4. nothis
        Link Parent
        I think the James Gunn thing is the most crystal clear example. From context, there was absolutely no doubt that his tasteless tweets were done to exaggerate, sarcastically, which is kinda a...

        I think the James Gunn thing is the most crystal clear example. From context, there was absolutely no doubt that his tasteless tweets were done to exaggerate, sarcastically, which is kinda a comedian's job. They fired him and re-hired him, eventually. Most notably, the whole thing was orchestrated by angry alt-right people who wanted to take "revenge" for all the genuinely racist/sexist/worse people out there getting "cancelled", so they played the left against itself and it worked. It worked. The question is really, why did it work?

        1 vote
    3. [2]
      ibis
      Link Parent
      Please give an example of violence. There is plenty of violence based on racism, homophobia, and sexism. But I think you’ll struggle to find much sjw violence going on. It’s almost as if certain...

      Please give an example of violence.

      There is plenty of violence based on racism, homophobia, and sexism. But I think you’ll struggle to find much sjw violence going on.

      It’s almost as if certain comedians just can’t handle being criticised by people who don’t like their jokes. Kind of ironic that they label others as snowflakes imo.

      2 votes
      1. stephen
        Link Parent
        Oh there was this time just last weekend some kids at an antifa bar shot up an SUV.... which had just fatally struck a 23 year old. Wait so these must be like totally different things. I feel so...

        sjw violence going on.

        Oh there was this time just last weekend some kids at an antifa bar shot up an SUV.... which had just fatally struck a 23 year old. Wait so these must be like totally different things.

        Kind of ironic that they label others as snowflakes imo.

        I feel so much of what you are saying in this thread.

  7. [15]
    JamesTeaKirk
    Link
    This is not simply another "old man angry" situation. I watch numerous podcasts with contemporary comedians who have expressed similar difficulties in navigating jokes in a world where certain...

    This is not simply another "old man angry" situation. I watch numerous podcasts with contemporary comedians who have expressed similar difficulties in navigating jokes in a world where certain jokes are off limits depending on who you're talking to. The situation is far more nuanced than just trying to brush Phillips off as "unfunny" (when did comedy become objective?). I'm not saying that the motivations behind the culture change are bad, and I don't think Phillips is either. I'm just saying we could offer an ounce of understanding as to why many comedians are feeling frustrated right now.

    7 votes
    1. [11]
      papasquat
      Link Parent
      I'm not sure if certain topics are off limits, but certain jokes definitely are. I think frequently, a lot of people are misunderstanding why that is. As a jew, Mel Brooks and others making jokes...

      I'm not sure if certain topics are off limits, but certain jokes definitely are. I think frequently, a lot of people are misunderstanding why that is. As a jew, Mel Brooks and others making jokes about how jews are greedy felt funny and sort of transgressive, but after hearing basically the same joke for my entire life, it just starts sort of getting boring and stale. Likewise, hearing about how gay people get poop on their dicks when they have sex can only be told so many different ways before eventually you're like "Yeah, alright, I get it."

      The problem with most of these "old man angry" type complaints are a lot of them are people that are upset that they can't tell virtually the same jokes they've been telling for two decades. A stereotype can only be exploited so many times before exploiting that stereotype becomes, itself, a trope. Jews are greedy, blacks do crime, mexicans are lazy, asians have small penises. How many possible combinations of words can you use to express these things before you're just hearing the same damn joke over and over and over for your entire adult life? The issue isn't that it's offensive, the issue is that it's just no longer funny, it's boring.

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        SantalBlush
        Link Parent
        Exactly. We need to be creative and make up new stereotypes, so the jokes don't get tired.

        The problem with most of these "old man angry" type complaints are a lot of them are people that are upset that they can't tell virtually the same jokes they've been telling for two decades. A stereotype can only be exploited so many times before exploiting that stereotype becomes, itself, a trope.

        Exactly. We need to be creative and make up new stereotypes, so the jokes don't get tired.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          stephen
          Link Parent
          I nominate "stand up comedians are a bunch of entitled insensitive backwards loudmouths" and "celebrities are a bunch of entitled disconnected bozos who are too used to dealing with suck ups and...

          I nominate "stand up comedians are a bunch of entitled insensitive backwards loudmouths" and "celebrities are a bunch of entitled disconnected bozos who are too used to dealing with suck ups and sychophants."

          1 vote
          1. SantalBlush
            Link Parent
            I don't disagree, but I already inferred that this was your position from the other dozen or so comments you've made in this thread.

            I don't disagree, but I already inferred that this was your position from the other dozen or so comments you've made in this thread.

            4 votes
      2. [7]
        JamesTeaKirk
        Link Parent
        Again, I think the issue is far more nuanced than a couple of specific stereotypes that you think can't be funny any more. There are entire topics that are becoming increasingly off limits for...

        Again, I think the issue is far more nuanced than a couple of specific stereotypes that you think can't be funny any more. There are entire topics that are becoming increasingly off limits for comedians depending on the venue their performing in. The other issue is that a comedian can tell a joke that kills at a comedy club, but then they get shit on about it by a Twitter mob because someone posts a ten second clip online. This issue is far more complex than people would like it to be.

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Can you provide an example of this with a joke that was truly not meant to be offensive? Because I hear some version of this argument all the time by people trying to excuse questionable behavior....

          Can you provide an example of this with a joke that was truly not meant to be offensive?

          Because I hear some version of this argument all the time by people trying to excuse questionable behavior. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people try and say Pewdiepie is #totallynotracist and its just cancel culture vilifying him, and yet at the same time we don't hear the same outcry for other streamers on the same level as him such as ninja or shroud or dr disrespect. I've heard people go on and on about how Louis CK was ruined by cancel culture, and yet other notable comedians like Kevin Hart or Jerry Seinfeld or Gabriel Iglesias don't have the same problem.

          5 votes
          1. [4]
            JamesTeaKirk
            Link Parent
            There are jokes that are meant to be offensive. The comedians you've mentioned are considered safe comedians for their own reasons, and many fans of comedy simply don't find that style very...

            There are jokes that are meant to be offensive. The comedians you've mentioned are considered safe comedians for their own reasons, and many fans of comedy simply don't find that style very humorous. I guess the question to me is why the content of one's jokes should color your view of them as a person. If someone is in a comedy club telling a joke, I don't have trouble separating their personal views from their comedy set. I'm not saying you have to think it's funny, but it's unfair that we're now basing our opinions of people and sometimes trying to get them "cancelled" because of the words they use to make a joke.

            It is clear to me when lines are crossed and when someone is just being racist. Daniel Tosh was an asshole when he said that he hoped an audience member would get raped, it wasn't really a joke, it was Tosh getting angry and emotional and showing some gross part of himself. The same can be said of the Michael Richards incident and the Shane Gillis rant. To me these were clearly not jokes, and I don't expect people to treat them as such.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              stephen
              Link Parent
              The content of what you are willing to say in public for money is absolutely a reflection of your character.

              . I guess the question to me is why the content of one's jokes should color your view of them as a person.

              I don't have trouble separating their personal views from their comedy set.

              The content of what you are willing to say in public for money is absolutely a reflection of your character.

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                JamesTeaKirk
                Link Parent
                I think we simply have a difference of opinion on how jokes should be treated. I see them as something that shouldn't ever be taken as a true reflection of one's opinion. I don't think Dave...

                I think we simply have a difference of opinion on how jokes should be treated. I see them as something that shouldn't ever be taken as a true reflection of one's opinion. I don't think Dave Chappelle really thinks that the kids who were abused by Michael Jackson should have been stoked; I think he was making a ridiculous statement because he knew it would make his audience laugh, which it did. I believe humor is, and should remain, a safe haven to say stupid and ridiculous things because I think the joy it brings is worth it. If you don't like a certain comedian's sense of humor, you shouldn't watch their specials. I would say it's analogous to movies, if you don't want to see gory scenes of murder, you probably shouldn't watch Tarintino movies.

                2 votes
                1. stephen
                  Link Parent
                  I agree with you point that people say what they would like to. But not free of conseqeunces. I see the argument you've made and the argument in the piece as silencing of critics who are as...

                  I agree with you point that people say what they would like to. But not free of conseqeunces. I see the argument you've made and the argument in the piece as silencing of critics who are as entitled to a platform as those they criticize.

        2. ibis
          Link Parent
          What do you suggest as a solution? Do you want to censor people from having an opinion on comedy? Also, to put all of this in context - Female comedians are relentlessly abused online by default....

          What do you suggest as a solution? Do you want to censor people from having an opinion on comedy?

          Also, to put all of this in context - Female comedians are relentlessly abused online by default. Hannah Gatsby was physically threatened for being a queer woman in a comedy club that wasn’t expecting her.

          And you expect me to feel sad because people aren’t laughing at some dudes jokes? I just don’t see people expressing their opinion on off-colour jokes as a serious issue. Maybe comedians should take their own advice and toughen up.

          1 vote
    2. [3]
      stephen
      Link Parent
      The issue is more like certain jokes are off limits to certain people. Like are you a white person? Don't make jokes about black people or else you're gonna run into trouble? Are you a straight...

      certain jokes are off limits depending on who you're talking to.

      The issue is more like certain jokes are off limits to certain people. Like are you a white person? Don't make jokes about black people or else you're gonna run into trouble? Are you a straight person? Don't make jokes about beating your son for being gay! Are you a rich person? Don't make fun of poor people.

      It's really quite simple and it boils down to privilege. Are you a privileged person along one or more vectors? Don't make jokes about the less privileged people along those vectors. This is the new norm and if you struggle with it, that's fine. Just don't expect people to laugh or be happy with you when you struggle with accepting trans people as a cis-gendered person during your next netflix special.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        JamesTeaKirk
        Link Parent
        I would disagree with your opinion that your attitude is the prevailing one of our time. I also don't think this idea of calculating your privelage fits into much of comedy, and I don't think it...

        I would disagree with your opinion that your attitude is the prevailing one of our time. I also don't think this idea of calculating your privelage fits into much of comedy, and I don't think it would be a positive thing to see the majority of standup disappear to fit this idea. I think at this point I'm just going to have to agree to disagree, as I think we've hit a fundamental impass here.

        1 vote
        1. stephen
          Link Parent
          Why is checking your privilege antithetical to stand up comedy?

          majority of standup disappear to fit this idea

          Why is checking your privilege antithetical to stand up comedy?

  8. [3]
    nothis
    Link
    Big Mouth just created outrage for some pansexual character being anti-bisexual. Awesome.

    In 2019—a year when I watched Fleabag, I Think You Should Leave, Derry Girls, Big Mouth, A Black Lady Sketch Show, and This Time with Alan Partridge, to name a handful of things that made me laugh so hard I had to hit pause—it is fascinating to learn that comedies don’t work anymore.

    Big Mouth just created outrage for some pansexual character being anti-bisexual.

    But do you know what you can do with 30 million people on Twitter? You can wait one afternoon.

    Awesome.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Your link brings up an interesting wrinkle: fictional characters (rather than real people) with potentially offensive or harmful beliefs. Many stories have characters with these, so how do we...

      Your link brings up an interesting wrinkle: fictional characters (rather than real people) with potentially offensive or harmful beliefs. Many stories have characters with these, so how do we distinguish between mere portrayal of an ideology in a work versus a social or cultural endorsement of that ideology outside the work?

      3 votes
      1. DanBC
        Link Parent
        It is a problem. The Dambuster aircrew had a dog. The dog was called "nigger". We have several films about this squadron, and most of them don't mention this at all....

        It is a problem.

        The Dambuster aircrew had a dog. The dog was called "nigger". We have several films about this squadron, and most of them don't mention this at all.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_(dog)

        I don't know what would be best. I feel like we should be showing the everyday racism of the past, but in a film that glorifies these character we would be glorifying their racism too. So films just never mention this dog's name (or change it to "blackie") and we get a sanitised version of history.

        4 votes