Seth Rogen has said that he doesn’t understand comedians who complain about “cancel culture”.
The actor and filmmaker told Good Morning Britain on Tuesday (25 May) that he has accepted that some jokes in his older movies have aged poorly.
Asked by presenter Susanna Reid what he thinks about jokes in his films that leave some people “uncomfortable” today, Rogen said: “I think there are certain jokes that for sure have not aged well … But I think that’s the nature of comedy. I think conceptually those movies are sound and I think there’s a reason they’ve lasted. Jokes are not things that necessarily are built to last.”
Rogen added that he neither complains about his poorly-aged jokes, nor thinks of them “as a big deal” or an example of “cancel culture”.
“To me, when I see comedians complaining about this kind of thing, I don’t understand what they’re complaining about,” he said. “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.”
He added: “Getting criticism is one of the things that goes along with being an artist, and if you don’t like that, then don’t be a comedian anymore. To me, it’s not worth complaining about to the degree I see other comedians complaining about.”
Asked by Reid whether he’s ever had to scrub his Twitter account of less enlightened jokes, Rogen said he was never that kind of comedian.
“I was never a comedian that made jokes that were truly designed to target groups that were subjugated in some way,” he explained. “Have we done that without realising 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 career I’ve never made a joke that’s outwardly horrific in some way, and if you have, I would question why you did that. 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.”
Rogen, who shocked fans with his unrecognisable appearance in a forthcoming limited series inspired by Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson, has just released his first memoir, titled Yearbook.
In it, he claims that Tom Cruise once attempted to convince him to join Scientology, and that surreal character ideas pitched by Nicolas Cage during a casting meeting “set off alarms”.
During the GMB interview, he expressed the worry that Cruise “won’t be happy” with the alleged encounter.