In the era of social media, it seems like there is a culture of outrage and that people’s livelihoods can be destroyed over a few offensive jokes. It seems like the careers of people such as Roseanne Barr, Shane Gillis and many others have been ended by angry twitter mobs. The truth, however, is that cancel culture isn’t anywhere near as powerful as comedians such as Joe Rogan or Adam Carolla would lead you to believe.
Many comedians have made a big deal about how the new generation is too sensitive and are snowflakes and are making it harder to be a comedian. These are the same people who have multiple stand-up specials on Netflix with titles like “Triggered” or “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
Shane Gillis, a comedian, was recently fired from Saturday Night Live (SNL) for offensive jokes he made during a podcast in 2018. That might seem like an overreaction, but the reality is Gillis’s life is far from ruined. He continues to do stand-up and even made another offensive joke commenting on the situation.
Kevin Hart, who was fired from hosting the Oscars over homophobic tweets he wrote in 2010, was just in two very successful movies this year. Dave Chapelle talks in his new Netflix special “Sticks and Stones” about how you can’t make certain jokes, while according to BusinessInsider.com, making 60 million dollars saying those things.
How effective is canceling? Roman Polanski, a rapist, continues to make films and win several awards for those films. Mel Gibson, who made multiple anti-Semitic remarks over the course of his career, continues to star and direct films. James Gunn was fired briefly over offensive tweets but was eventually reinstated and hired to write and direct the Suicide Squad sequel. Roseanne Barr’s show was literally canceled but is currently planning a comeback tour.
The closest example of someone being canceled is Sinead O’ Connor, who during her SNL performance, tore up a picture of the pope and criticized his actions during the Catholic Abuse Scandal. Even so, one case doesn’t represent a culture. The fact is it isn’t that Social Justice Warriors are ruining comedy, it’s that comedians and other celebrities are refusing to take accountability for their actions and blame everyone but themselves for it.