Irish comedian Dylan Moran’s comments on cancel culture are pretty spot-on
Dylan Moran isn’t phased by cancel culture. In fact, he’s not phased by anything really.
Comedians have been navigating the thin line between what is funny and what is not for decades now, but the idea of cancel culture only really took off in recent years and many have faced criticism for their specific brand of “humour” as a result. John Cleese, Kevin Hart, Louis CK, Dave Chapelle, Jimmy Carr… the list goes on.
Even Jack Whitehall has previously voiced concerns that his career could be brought to a premature end over cancel culture. Cleese argued that political correctness “will stifle creativity”. Many others have echoed his thoughts on the subject, claiming that “cancel culture is killing comedy”.
People talk about cancel culture as though it’s something to be feared, and I suppose in a way, it is, but only if what you’re saying deserves to be cancelled. Which is basically Irish comedian Dylan Moran’s stance on it all. Unlike other comedians, who seem to shy away from certain “career-detonating” topics, Moran has no plans to do anything of the sort, explaining that he’s not worried about anything and will be broaching all manner of topics in his show, We Got This.
“I’m going into everything. I’m going to knit all the subjects. I’m going to talk about them all. No worries. It’s really more important than ever to talk about everything. And I’m going to do that.”
Asked by The Telegraph whether he’s just “relying on his essential goodness as a human being to get him through this cultural moment”, Moran simply responded by saying that he wasn’t, challenging his interviewer to “tell me something to worry me. Worry me.”
What about the small matter of Louis CK and “how far a star can fall”? “He went from most popular comedian in America to pariah, almost overnight”, his interviewer pointed out.
“The thing about this is… here’s the thing, right? Just go with me. Let’s say we’re talking about champion knitters, and you know, for the knitter, it’s the world knitting finals coming up. Now, he hasn’t dropped a stitch. And then, all of a sudden, he takes his d*ck out in front of the other knitters, you know,” Moran remarks. “How do you think that’s gonna play out for his career?”
Moran’s point being that, yes, Louis CK’s reputation took a nosedive, but it had “nothing to do with comedy”.
For those unfamiliar with the details, five years ago, CK admitted to exposing himself and masturbating in front of women or during phone conversations. Netflix and HBO cut ties with him in light of the allegations – which he personally confirmed as being true – and he (very quietly) slipped off the grid for a while.
CK wasn’t ever really “cancelled” though. Two years later he was back on the comedy circuit and got a standing ovation at a show he did before Covid effectively shut the entire world down.
The critics will tell you that cancel culture is based on faux outrage, virtue signalling and the silencing of people who are not politically correct – or arrived at political correctness too late. But that argument is used to negate the validity of why a person is being held accountable for their actions.
Claims that cancel culture has a chokehold on comedy simply aren’t true and it’s only those with inflammatory opinions – that previously went unchecked – who are actually worried. Powerful men are rarely truly cancelled, except in the most egregious cases, and even then it can take years.
This article was originally published in April 2022.