During a recent appearance on the “Joe Budden” podcast with host and retired rapper Joe Budden, the “Friday After Next” actor touched on the topic of “cancel culture” while promoting his upcoming film “2 Minutes of Fame.”
The term came about only recently, but many have already fallen victim to its practice that has ousted or shunned those deemed to display or partake in behavior that is considered offensive or politically incorrect. While many have championed the progress move, many, predominately comedians and conservatives, have opposed, arguing that society has become too sensitive.
Comedian Kevin Hart nearly lost it all. Many called for the end of his career after old homophobic Twitter posts resurfaced online in 2019, just before he was set to host the Oscars. At the time, the 41-year-old stepped down from his gig but never formally apologized, citing that he had already addressed those tweets several times before.
Social media influencer B. Simone caught flak for several reasons, including expressing that she wouldn’t want a man that works a traditionally blue-collar 9 to 5 job. The recurring “Wild N Out” star claimed that her reasoning wasn’t rooted in finances but instead was a conflict of lifestyle.
In contrast, R. Kelly may have been one of the most prominent Black figures to “get canceled” following the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which examined the rumors of abuse, pedophilia, and predatory behavior towards underage women. The stories were told by the women who allegedly had firsthand experience. The disgraced singer is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago while he awaits trial on sex crime charges in multiple jurisdictions. Though some may have found it difficult to let go of the work he’s created, for the most part, his name or his work is something that has now become sort of taboo in hip-hop culture. Many other artists have faced backlash for praising his talent.
Williams believes “cancel culture” not only serves its purpose but is needed, like rules and laws. “Nobody likes the out of bounds, but the out of bounds gotta be there, or you’ll run up in the stands,” Williams said. “Some of these things are for the benefit of everything. Nobody likes the speed limit, but it’s necessary. Nobody likes the shoulder of the road, but it’s there for a reason. My point is, people weren’t all that extremely funny when they could say whatever they wanted to say.”
The actor simplified “cancel culture” to the point that he didn’t deem it a real thing. “Cancellation doesn’t have its own culture,” he said. “That was people of color. That was us policing our own culture. That was people without a voice being trashed by people just because they had a bigger name than them and more money than them and a better office than them, they could sweep them up under the rug like they didn’t matter. I don’t know what people we think got canceled that we wish we had back.”
Critics have argued that some aspects of cancel culture have gone too far, seemingly making anyone a target, but Williams contended that if the goal is “to be more sensitive in the way that we talk, isn’t that what we want anyway?” He continued, “I’m saying, your job as a comedian is to please the most amount of people with your art. So, if you want to offend somebody, nobody took those words away from you. ‘Dirty b-tch’ ain’t been taken away, you can say that. But don’t call somebody this word when you know this affects all of these people.”
According to Williams, the bottom line is if restrictions on offensive language and or behavior is what’s keeping you “from doing the craft that God put you to, then it probably ain’t for you, that’s all.” Williams’ remarks were met with the utmost praise, including writer Natty Kasambala, who wrote on Twitter, “This clip of Katt Williams on cancel culture is BRILLIANT, not a single miss.”
Kimberly Nicole Foster commented, “Katt Williams is so interesting to me. Get him on a show with a therapist and turn the cameras on.”
“The way Katt Williams can drag you and not start cursing or getting loud but keep hitting you with facts is a sign of intelligence,” expressed a third. “He has been very smart. BEEN.”
Check out some other reactions to Katt Williams’ take on cancel culture and be sure to check out the clip down below. The conversation starts around the 9:01 mark.
Link to original Atlanta Black Star