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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Wanda Sykes: ‘Cancel Culture’ Is Merely Consequences in Disguise

Wanda Sykes, a veteran stand-up comedian with nearly 40 years of experience, is set to premiere her latest comedy special titled “Wanda Sykes: I’m An Entertainer” on Netflix tomorrow. In this special, Sykes delves into the current state of discourse surrounding the perceived boundaries in comedy and the potential repercussions of crossing those boundaries.

The issue of “cancel culture” is also addressed, particularly in light of Kevin Hart’s podcast episode “Gold Minds” in November 2021, where he tried to engage Sykes, a pioneering queer comedian, in a discussion on the topic. Sykes firmly dismissed the notion of “cancel culture” and instead referred to it as “consequences.”

She further emphasized that true “canceling” only occurs when one reaches the ultimate destination of white light and pearly gates. In an interview with The Guardian on Friday, Sykes elaborated on her perspective, shedding light on her stance regarding the consequences faced by comedians in today’s society.

“To me, the whole complaint about cancel culture is a lot of men — especially straight men — who are just pissed that they can’t say things anymore, know?” Sykes explained, “And it’s not like you can’t say these things. You can say them, but now there are just consequences.” Sykes continued, “That’s why I say I can’t get canceled. Only God can say: ‘All right, Wanda, that’s enough.’”

It is important to acknowledge that in Kevin Hart’s case, the situation leading to his departure from hosting The Oscars was not solely due to his repeated and joyous jokes targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

According to Hart’s own account, his employers at The Academy requested an apology from him after he made comments suggesting he would respond with violence if his son displayed behaviors perceived as “acting gay.”

The decision to part ways with Hart came about when he chose not to retract his jokes in an effort to alleviate tensions surrounding his hosting role. In his situation, his “cancelation” was not just a result of the consequences of his actions, but rather consequences he had ample opportunity to avoid.

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