Entertainment

Seth Rogen reminds people Louis CK wasn’t ‘cancelled’ because of his jokes

Seth doesn’t get why comedians complain about ‘cancel culture’ (Picture: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Seth Rogen has called out the claim that comedians like Louis CK and Dave Chappelle were ‘cancelled’ for telling jokes.

The Knocked Up star said that comedians shouldn’t complain about ‘cancel culture’ in relation to their old work being reviewed under a 2021 lens, and thinks that comics need to ‘accept’ when their jokes age badly.

After being criticised for this view, Seth slammed the suggestion that Louis CK was ‘cancelled’ – pointing out that he admitted to masturbating in front of four women and asking a fifth if he could so so. 

Claire Lehmann, the founder of online magazine Quillette, shared an article about Seth’s comments and tweeted: ‘Mediocre comedy actor says what?

‘Of course @Sethrogen benefits if guys like Louis CK or Chappelle get cancelled. The talentless always benefit when the talented are purged.’

Seth, 39, responded: ‘I don’t know you but this is so f***ing stupid. Louis was not cancelled for telling jokes.’ He then referenced that CK had admitted to sexual misconduct.

He continued: ‘And Chappelle is not cancelled and has never been cancelled. He’s making Netflix specials. Your examples don’t even support your own dumb point.’

Louis CK admitted to allegations of sexual misconduct (Picture: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Bob Woodruff Foundation)

In 2017, a New York Times report published allegations of sexual misconduct against Louis CK from five women. 

Two of the women said that CK stripped naked and masturbated in front of them after inviting them to his hotel room, while another said that the comedian masturbated on the phone after she called him to invite him to one of her shows.

CK said: ‘These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my d*** without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your d*** isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.’

While his film I Love You, Daddy was pulled from distribution prior to his release and his touring was halted, CK returned to stand-up a year later and released a new special on his website in 2020.

Chappelle’s comedy career is as strong as ever (Picture: Lester Cohen/WireImage)

Meanwhile, while Chappelle was criticised for jokes about Michael Jackson’s accusers, the #MeToo movement and the transgender community in his 2019 special Sticks & Stones, he won a Grammy for best comedy album for the show, has since released a further three specials on YouTube and Instagram, hosted Saturday Night Live, staged a series of socially distanced gigs in Ohio, and received the 22nd Mark Twain Prize for American Humour.

Seth made his comments about cancel culture when asked about his past movies which contain jokes that may be viewed in a different light today, such as Superbad, Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

He told Good Morning Britain: ‘There are certain jokes that for sure have not aged well, but I think that’s the nature of comedy. I think conceptually those movies are sound and I think there’s a reason they’ve lasted as far as people still watching and enjoying them today. Jokes are not things that necessarily are built to last.

‘To me when I see comedians complaining about this kind of thing, I don’t understand what they’re complaining about. If you’ve made a joke that’s aged terribly, accept it. And if you don’t think it’s aged terribly, then say that.

‘To me, it’s not worth complaining about to the degree I see other comedians complaining about.’

When asked if he would have to search through his Twitter feed to delete controversial jokes made in the past, the skilled potter said: ‘I was never a comedian that made jokes that were truly designed to target groups that were subjugated in some way. Have we done that without realising it? Definitely. And those things are in our movies and they’re out there, and they’re things that I am more than happy to say that they have not aged well.

‘But in my Twitter, I’ve never made a joke that’s outwardly horrific in some way, and if you have, I would question why you did that. Saying terrible things is bad, so if you’ve said something terrible, then it’s something you should confront in some way, shape, or form. I don’t think that’s cancel culture. That’s you saying something terrible if that’s what you’ve done.’


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