Breaking news: A famous comedian has an opinion about cancel culture. Jerrod Carmichael is the latest funnyman to chime in on the topic, saying during a new roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he thinks “cancelation” is just coinage “to give boring people something interesting to talk about.”
The interview in question featured Carmichael alongside fellow TV comedians Danny McBride, Michael Che, Will Forte, Jake Johnson, and Bowen Yang. The topic of cancel culture arose when interviewer Lacey Rose asked Che about a recent episode of his show That Damn Michael Che, during which the SNL star explored what being “canceled” might actually feel like.
“I think the lie that we tell each other, and ourselves, is that we don’t feel [being canceled],” but we feel everything,” Che explained. “You feel the fear, you feel the confidence, you feel the anger, you feel the humor — you run the gamut, it’s just that one outweighs the other. And one of the cool things that comedy can do is explore what it feels like in every single avenue and, when people see it, they understand, ‘Oh yeah. I get that.'”
Carmichael chimed in: “But cancelation, that’s not real. The boogeyman doesn’t exist. We got to get over that. Like, if you do something wrong in your personal life, you should go to jail. Like, actual jail. And then everything else is like, ‘What are we talking about?’ If you make art and it causes some contention or it causes some whatever, I mean, that’s part of it, but the cancelation thing, I think that’s just to give boring people something interesting to talk about, like a ghost villain.”
Then, turning towards Johnson, Carmichael added: “I also want to say I only unbuttoned this [shirt] because you look real sexy with the top [unbuttoned] and I didn’t know we were doing that.”
“It’s funny to say that right after you say cancel culture doesn’t exist and now you’re just sexually assaulting this guy,” Che remarked sarcastically, which — especially considering recent events — might not’ve been the smartest punchline.
“Cancelation” has been a particularly relevant topic in the comedy world as of late. In May, Dave Chappelle was attacked during one of his stand-up sets by a man who said he felt “triggered” by the comedian’s jokes about the LGBTQ+ community and homeless people. And just last week, Ricky Gervais defended incredibly transphobic jokes he made in his new Netflix special SuperNature.