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Seth Rogen Says Jokes Aging Badly Is “The Nature of Comedy” and Comedians Shouldn’t Complain

seth rogen

Seth Rogen has been saying the right things for a while, which, in a world where expectations for cis white men are at basement levels, is still pretty damn good. During a recent interview with Good Morning Britain to promote his new essay collection Yearbook, he was asked about the subject that usually trips up most comedians of every race and creed: cancel culture.

Susanna Reid, one of the hosts of Good Morning Britainasked the star about jokes that are controversial from his own past filmography.

“There are certain jokes that for sure have not aged well, but I think that’s the nature of comedy,” Rogen responded. “I think conceptually those movies are sound and I think there’s a reason they’ve lasted as far as people still watching and enjoying them today. Jokes are not things that necessarily are built to last.”

As someone who grew up watching the problematic comedy of the sitcoms of the ’90s and 2000s, a lot of topics have not aged well. On one of my favorite shows, The Nanny, there are trans jokes, Donald Trump cameos, and a bunch of slightly cringe incidents that very much mark the era in which it was made. But, I don’t think that stops me from watching it. I just choose to be aware of it.

It is possible to address the problematic ways in which comedy punched down on LGBTQ people and still accept that something holds value to you. All a comic can do is continue to grow, and honestly, that growth is what makes comedy an ever-evolving genre.

Rogen said, “To me when I see comedians complaining about this kind of thing, I don’t understand what they’re complaining about. If you’ve made a joke that’s aged terribly, accept it. And if you don’t think it’s aged terribly, then say that.”

“To me, it’s not worth complaining about to the degree I see other comedians complaining about,” Rogen added.

Rogen was then asked by Reid if he would ever go back in his Twitter feed and scrub controversial jokes made in the past.

“I was never a comedian that made jokes that were truly designed to target groups that were subjugated in some way,” he answered. “Have we done that without realizing it? Definitely. And those things are in our movies and they’re out there, and they’re things that I am more than happy to say that they have not aged well.”

“But in my Twitter, I’ve never made a joke that’s outwardly horrific in some way, and if you have, I would question why you did that,” Rogen wrapped up. “Saying terrible things is bad, so if you’ve said something terrible, then it’s something you should confront in some way, shape, or form. I don’t think that’s cancel culture. That’s you saying something terrible if that’s what you’ve done.”

A simple, thoughtful answer that isn’t self-flagellating, accountable, and accepts that mistakes happen and all you can do is go forward.

No notes.

(via IndieWire, image: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.