Todd Phillips is best known for directing and writing comedies like The Hangover trilogy, Due Date and Road Trip. However, in a recent Vanity Fair interview, Phillips claimed that his works, and comedies in general, are now “irreverent” due to Hollywood’s new woke culture.
He said: “Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture. There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the fucking funny guys are like, ‘Fuck this shit, because I don’t want to offend you.’ It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies—I think that what comedies in general all have in common—is they’re irreverent.”
This haunting thought led Phillips to co-write a story about “an alienated white guy whose failure to be funny drives him into a vengeful rage”. And thus a new origin story of Joker was born, making his latest film serve as a critique of Hollywood as well.
Phillips continued, “So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but fuck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”
Well, the part about how the so-called woke culture has affected comedies and comedians isn’t wrong. Some comedians have gotten into serious trouble ever since society starts ‘cancelling’ anyone being offensive on purpose. If the comedy worked in the past, why can’t it still be funny now?
Simple. If you need your comedy to be racist and bigoted, then maybe you’re just not that funny.
Besides, we’re now in that period of time where, yes, we’re being more sensitive about certain issues than before, but only because we need to stop allowing ill behaviour of mocking others for their race, skin colour, religion etc. Whether consciously or subconsciously, accepting that as comedy in the past have now created years of quiet and tolerated sourness. Sourness because resentment may be too strong a word because, yes, sometimes we do laugh at such comedy but do we like it? Nope.
We may laugh at ourselves on occasion, but call that comedy for what it is. Being disgruntled at the fact that your works are now “irreverent” and blaming it on society for being more tactful towards others you mock are only making yourself look bad. Just don’t. Thank you.