Is cancel culture real? Outrage over disgraced comedian Louis CK's new special 'Sorry'

Is cancel culture real? Outrage over disgraced comedian Louis CK's new special 'Sorry'
Louis CK performs on stage at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 2016 in New York City (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Disgraced comedian Louis CK is trying to make a career comeback through his new online stand-up special, 'Sorry,' after sexual misconduct revelations against him in 2017 caused him to get canceled in the public eye. His latest efforts to get back into the limelight has netizens questioning whether "cancel culture" is real and if the comedian had been amply punished for his deeds. 

'Sorry' was filmed during Louis' performance this past summer at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. It was the 54-year-old's first since his 2020 Grammy-nominated 'Seriously, Louis C.K.' An ad for 'Sorry' was broadcast in a commercial during Saturday Night Live. The commercial played to the background score of 'The Kingsmen's Louie Louie,' and showed the comedian onstage performing his act donning a long-sleeved black sweater with dark blue jeans, in front of large letters that spell out the word 'SORRY.' He is heard saying in the special: "Are you picturing it? It’s good. It’s really good, nobody gets pregnant."


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The special is available through the comedian's website, four years after he publicly admitted to allegations of sexual misconduct, including masturbating in front of female colleagues. '"These stories are true," he said in a statement in November of 2017. "At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my d*** without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your d*** isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly."

'Cancel culture is a myth'

People on Twitter started criticizing the efficacy of cancel culture after watching the comedian's advertisement. Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Victoria Brownworth wrote, "So Louis CK has a new special out, 'Sorry,' that he is selling online. An ad ran during SNL. For those who forgot, Louis CK sexually assaulted a series of women comedians, then went right back to work and no one blinked. So quit whining about cancel culture, because it's a myth."


Others chimed in. "With Louis CK dropping a new special called 'Sorry' of all things & Dave Chappelle doubling down on his bigotry in three successful Netflix specials, I'm starting to think that cancel culture is just a right-wing bogeyman intended to shut down discussion & prevent accountability," one of them said, while another noted, "If cancel culture was not real Louis CK special would have been on Netflix or Amazon." A third added, "Louis CK lost millions of dollars in deals and was excluded from mainstream media for YEARS. I'd argue he should pay the victims some restitution. However, to act like cancel culture isn't a thing is like saying prison doesn't exist simply because a person gets OUT of prison." One more stated, "Cancel culture isn’t real because we couldn’t cancel these comedians successfully."

Louis C.K. attends FX and Vanity Fair Emmy Celebration at Craft on September 16, 2017 in Century City, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

The next remarked, "I always thought conservatives invented 'cancel culture.' They boycotted the Simpsons and banned Simpsons merch in school, they canceled Ellen's sitcom when she came out as gay. Star Trek almost got canceled over an interracial kiss. Conservatives love to complain about 'cancel culture' but the very same ones that complain also very actively participate in cancel culture."

A commenter tweeted, "Not that there's nothing to your point, but CK lost several millions of dollars due to cancelled projects, as well aa several years near or past the tail end of his prime - you can argue that he deserved it, but he paid a heavy price." One more noted, "What you just described is the reason cancel culture is a bad thing. It can't hurt the rich and powerful, it can only hurt the poor and relatively powerless. Louis CK can't be cancelled, but Justine Sacco can. It's an inherently unequal weapon."

In a series of tweets, one user wrote, ""Cancel culture" is just a capital interest that targets whoever is expendable to give masses the illusion of it being something they did. Thats why james francos out and no one questions the just as guilty seth rogan. Or amber heards success while johnny depp almost loses his career, and is just barely projected to make a comeback because us the audience have doubled down on taking his side, despite media efforts. "Cancel culture" as the right describes it, doesnt exist. Its an extension of basic blacklist culture".

One tweet, however, emphasized, "Louis CK special is only available on his website for $10. It’s not on any streaming platform (Netflix, hbo, Amazon, Hulu, etc.) He’s still cancelled".










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