Seth Rogen and Chris Rock are weighing in on how “cancel culture” is affecting comedy, and they've got entirely different views on the subject.
While promoting his new book of essays, Yearbook, on Good Morning Britain, Rogen was asked about controversial jokes he's made in past movies.
“There are certain jokes that for sure have not aged well, but I think that’s the nature of comedy," Rogen told host Susanna Reid, per Hypebeast.
"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.”
Rogen added that he doesn't think comedians should complain about being criticized for their material.
“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."
"One of the things that goes along with being an artist, and 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.”
He then effectively dismissed cancel culture as an issue plaguing comedy, adding, “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.”
But Rogen’s take differs greatly from what Rock said during a recent appearance on iHeartRadio’s The Breakfast Club. The standup comedy legend said cancel culture is to blame for overly "safe" attitudes leading to "unfunny" art.
“And when everyone gets safe and nobody tries anything, things get boring,” he told hosts Angela Yee and DJ Envy, per the New York Post.
“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.
“And that’s not a place to be … Now you got a place where people are scared to talk,” calling the behavior bizarre, “especially in America.”
Rock added that comedians in particular already know when not to say something if a joke fails to elicit laughter.
“You don’t really have to cancel us, ‘cause we get the message — they’re not laughing! … When we do something and people aren’t laughing, we get it,” he said.
“Like, ‘Oh, you think you know more than the audience?’ The audience knows more than everybody,”