Last week, comedian Chris Rock spoke out about cancel culture on Power 105.1's "The Breakfast Club" saying it's made entertainment become too "safe" which has been terrible for the industry and audiences alike.
"And when everyone gets safe and nobody tries anything, things get boring," he told the New York station's Angela Yee and DJ Envy.
"I see a lot of unfunny comedians, I see unfunny TV shows, I see unfunny awards shows, I see unfunny movies — because everybody's scared to make a move," he said.
Rock has a point in saying that fear of a backlash has forced a lot of people to reevaluate their material and for entertainment companies to avoid controversial topics and entertainers. However, actor Seth Rogen believes that when it comes to comedy, the real problem has more to do with the medium's limited shelf life, than regressive political correctness.
"There are certain jokes that for sure have not aged well, but I think that's the nature of comedy," Rogen told "Good Morning Britain,' adding that some of the jokes in his films haven't aged well.
"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," he said.
He added: "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."
Rogen continued, saying that criticism is "one of the things that goes along with being an artist."
"To me, it's not worth complaining about to the degree I see other comedians complaining about," he added.
Seth Rogen says he doesn’t understand why some comedians complain about "cancel culture": “Saying terrible things… https://t.co/bqJpdoHxWa— The Recount (@The Recount) 1621975416.0
The "Pineapple Express" star says he's avoided having to apologize for tweets or jokes he's made in the past, because he's never thought punching down was funny. "I was never a comedian that made jokes that were truly designed to target groups that were subjugated in some way," he said.
"Have we done that without realizing 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," he added.
Rogen believes that a lot of it just comes down to simply being a decent human being.
"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," Rogen said. "That's you saying something terrible if that's what you've done."
Rogen and Rock's recent comments on cancel culture show why the controversy surrounding the issue is so tough. We should work to foster a society where artists are free to speak their minds, especially in the world of comedy, an artform based on pushing boundaries.
However, we've also progressed as a society to the point where it's fair to criticize artists who take shots at people from marginalized communities who don't deserve to be targets.
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