Marlon Wayans said he finds it hard to be a stand-up comedian these days due to the very high possibility of being canceled.
It was something the 47-year-old told Buzzfeed in an interview published on Thursday. And he talked about why it’s necessary for him to approach subjects that may be uncomfortable or even offensive.
“My job is to talk about all the things people are scared to say,” Wayans explained. “My job is to go into these dark topics and go in these dark caves and come out with this elixir called the laugh.”
The “Night School” actor posted some homophobic tweets between 2009 to 2011, and although he said sorry, there was no big official apology in the beginning, which caused a firestorm.
There’s a good chance that Wayans agreed with the non-apology, because he doesn’t believe a comedian should say sorry for relaying a joke.
“[I don’t] believe in apologizing,” he explained. ” You know, freedom of speech, what happened to that?”
Wayans also talked about comedians and celebrities being canceled, which happens whenever a social media campaign begins to end someone’s career.
“Social media alerts the media, which then tells the message that everybody should be as sensitive about every topic, but that’s not true,” he explained.
“Comedians, we’re supposed to speak our voice and we’re supposed to find what’s funny,” added Wayans. “That’s my job. It’s like telling a fireman, ‘You can’t go into that burning building.’ Well, how am I gonna save lives?”
The comedian Chris Rock also discussed it being difficult for comedians to do their job without offending people. In fact, Rock said he no longer plays colleges, because many students have a huge desire to not offend anyone or hear material that isn’t politically correct.
Rock has gotten backlash for jokes about white men committing mass shootings, plus an online joke about Whitney Houston being on drugs.
But Wayans said people should ease up on comics because they’re just trying to create something that’s funny as well as thought-provoking, but it takes time.
“I’m just up there exploring the joke,” he said. “It takes about a year to two years to get that joke good enough to where you’re gonna wanna say it out loud in a special. We say dumb sh– in order to say smart sh–.”
“But it takes time, and so the audience has to give us that time to work on the material before we present it to you in a special. And then you can judge,” Wayans added.