Rowan Atkinson Criticises Cancel Culture In Comedy: 'Every Joke Has A Victim'

Posted by Sama in Entertainment On 18th June 2022
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Rowan Atkinson has been open about his views regarding 'cancel culture' in comedy and states that the bizarre culture simply cancels people because of an online algorithm that decides what they want to see and ends up creating that narrative that ultimately creates a binary view of society.

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Rowan Atkinson has spoken up against the cancel culture in comedy, stating that ‘every joke has a victim’. 

Atkinson is one of the many entertainers to hit out against the cancel culture in comedy.

The comedian says it ‘fills me with fear about the future’, and back in the mid-00s even helped to launch a campaign against aspects of the Religious Hatred Bill he believed would prevent comedians from joking about religion.

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Addressing the matter, the actor and comedian said in an interview with The Irish Times: “It does seem to me that the job of comedy is to offend, or have the potential to offend, and it cannot be drained of that potential. 

“Every joke has a victim. That’s the definition of a joke. Someone or something or an idea is made to look ridiculous.”

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Features writer Patrick Freyne further asked Atkinson if comedy should make people their subject to which he replied: “I think you’ve got to be very, very careful about saying what you’re allowed to make jokes about.

“You’ve always got to kick up? Really? What if there’s someone extremely smug, arrogant, aggressive, self-satisfied, who happens to be below in society? They’re not all in houses of parliament or in monarchies. 

“There are lots of extremely smug and self-satisfied people in what would be deemed lower down in society, who also deserve to be pulled up. 

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“In a proper free society, you should be allowed to make jokes about absolutely anything.”

Well, this isn't the first time the Johnny English star has hit against the cancel culture, having told the Radio Times last year: "The problem we have online is that an algorithm decides what we want to see, which ends up creating a simplistic, binary view of society.

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"It becomes a case of either you're with us or against us. And if you're against us, you deserve to be 'cancelled'.

"It's important that we're exposed to a wide spectrum of opinion, but what we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn.

"So it is scary for anyone who's a victim of that mob and it fills me with fear about the future."

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Atkinson’s new comments come after his latest Netflix show Man vs Bee in which he stars as a Mr. Bean-esque character who is at war with a bee.

Surely set to be as ridiculous as it sounds, the official synopsis reads: “Bumbling dad Trevor tries to get the best of a cunning bee whilst house sitting a posh mansion - but only unleashes more chaos.”

The new Netflix show is all set to stream from 24 June, 2022.

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