Much has been said about Joker and how it glories incel behaviour (it doesn’t) ever since people laid eyes on the film. While some of the buzz is overblown, director Todd Phillips hasn’t done himself any favours by continually digging himself into an ever-growing hole in his attempts to defend the film.
Chatting to Vanity Fair, Phillips complained how he was basically forced into making edgy fare like Joker because “woke culture” meant that comedy, particularly his brand of cutting-edge comedic work such as *checks notes* um, The Hangover trilogy, Road Trip, Starsky & Hutch and Old School has been rendered unwelcome.
“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 f*****g funny guys are like, ‘F*** this s***, 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.”
Interesting viewpoint there from Mr. comedy auteur Todd Phillips, but let’s counter that argument with a few things, shall we?
Firstly Todd, saying offensive things without facing any consequences under the guise of “comedy” isn’t comedy. That’s just being an arsehole who is having a whinge after being rightfully called out on it and that’s kind of what you’re doing right now.
If “woke culture” is ruining “edgy” comedy, then please explain how Taika Waititi is able to literally play Hitler in a comedy movie and not generate any controversy?
Maybe it’s best to let fellow comedy genius George Carlin to explain it to you, Todd.
But more importantly, comedy is subjective. Go ahead and keep making your brand of “white men eschewing responsibility to be frat boys” comedy, Todd, but if people don’t like it, that’s again not because of “woke culture” or you being “canceled.”
It means times have changed and people and comedy have moved on from what you perceived to be funny, Todd. Perhaps it’s time to accept the fact that you haven’t moved along with the times and you’re just to lazy to update improve your brand of comedy to fit in with what people want these days.
And if shows like Fleabag, The Good Place, Big Mouth, Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Broad City (just to name a few) are anything to go by, comedy seems to be faring just fine without you, Todd, despite all this “woke culture.”
Maybe do everyone and Joker a favour and stop blaming “woke culture” for forcing you to abandon your brand of comedy, Todd. You made a pretty good movie that’s uncomfortable to watch by design but it’s becoming increasingly clear you don’t seem to understand what’s going on, what you made and how stubbornly stuck in the past you are.