Seth Rogen, Cancel Culture, Comedians

Seth Rogen is taking a stance on cancel culture and it’s bound to get a polarizing response, despite his opinion on the matter suggesting that fellow comedians should take proper responsibility for past jokes.

Rogen appeared on Good Morning Britain, (via “Insider“) on Tuesday and he made it clear that he doesn’t understand why his comedian counterparts are making such a big deal about so-called “cancel culture.” Rogen even went as far as to say that there are jokes in his past movies that wouldn’t fly today by stating “I think 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. Jokes are not things that necessarily built to last.” Rogen also said a little accountability for past jokes that crossed the line is also necessary and that comedians are now forced to reckon with dated jokes that are no longer appropriate in present day:

“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. If you don’t like that, then don’t be a comedian anymore. To me, it’s not worth complaining about to the degree I see other comedians complaining about.”

In addition to past jokes from his movies, Rogen was asked if he would ever go back through his Twitter feed and delete jokes and posts that have not aged well or that might be problematic. The comedian and actor seemed very confident that there was nothing to scrub away based on anything he has posted:

“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 realizing it? Definitely. And those are things 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 on 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.”

While this is something that might make internet trolls go through Seth Rogen’s Twitter with a fine-toothed comb to catch anything that might be offensive or problematic, I have to say I respect his opinion on this. I’m very much on the fence about “cancel culture” and I think there is a fine line between that extreme and simply holding people accountable for the things they do or say that possibly goes too far. It really is a case-by-case scenario for me and often times I’d like to call it “accountability culture” rather than “cancel culture.” Rogen seems to feel that comedians open themselves up to this kind of thing and they need to just deal with it and take the lumps as they come. 

Rogen is no stranger when it comes to being accountable for his past projects that hold a new context for viewers. Rogen was specifically called out by his Disaster Artist co-star Charlyne Yi for his continued association with James Franco after multiple women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Franco has denied all of the allegations but Rogen has recently explained that he no longer has any plans to work with the embattled actor in the future and he even addressed one of Yi’s complaints about him joking about his friend and creative collaborator’s allegations during a Saturday Night Live sketch in 2014. Rogen said “I do look back at a joke I made on Saturday Night Live in 2014 and I very much regret making that joke. It was a terrible joke, honestly and I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now.”

Do YOU agree with Seth Rogen’s stance on cancel culture?

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