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Billy Connolly Slams 'Cancel Culture', Saying He Wouldn't Make It Today

Dominic Smithers

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Billy Connolly Slams 'Cancel Culture', Saying He Wouldn't Make It Today

Billy Connolly has slammed 'cancel culture', saying he would never make it today.

The Scottish comedian believes things 'have changed forever' with regards to what can and can't be said in the name of humour.

And speaking to a New Zealand radio station about his memoir Windswept, the 78-year-old urged 'suits' - TV executives - to be 'braver'.

He told Newstalk ZB: "Because of political correctness people have pulled in the horns. I couldn't have started today with the talent I had then.

"There's a show here in America with all Black comedians, men and women, and they are totally ruthless, they are totally without political correctness and they have always got me on the floor howling with laughter.

Things have 'changed forever'. Credit: Alamy
Things have 'changed forever'. Credit: Alamy

"There was a comedian who had a series on television and the suits involved were going to take it off at the first commercial break. They have got no bravery."

Connolly isn't the first comedian to speak out against 'cancel culture', though.

Earlier this month, Jimmy Carr told LADbible that there seems to be an overreaction to things people don't like, which has been accelerated by social media.

He said: "It used to be, if you didn't like a comedian that was on telly or something, you'd tut and switch the channel.

"Now you can go on social media and go, 'This f*****g guy, I've never liked this guy'.

Jimmy Carr thinks this 'overreaction' has been accelerated by social media. Credit: Alamy
Jimmy Carr thinks this 'overreaction' has been accelerated by social media. Credit: Alamy

"I think it's good that everyone's got a voice. But it doesn't mean that, just because you don't like it, we should get rid of it.

"I don't like people being de-platformed. I don't like people being cancelled. I kind of think everyone's got a right to do their thing - if it's not for you, it's not for you, and it's fine."

Equally, having worked in the business for more than two decades, he knows full well that people will exercise their right to complain about his jokes.

He said: "You can air your opinion, that's freedom of speech too. Freedom of speech just isn't free of consequences. You know, you have to live with the consequences.

"Some people aren't going to like it when you make a joke, because jokes are risks. It's a calculated risk.

Ricky Gervais believes cancel culture is having a 'negative impact' on comedy. Credit: Alamy
Ricky Gervais believes cancel culture is having a 'negative impact' on comedy. Credit: Alamy

"You're trying to get a laugh, you're trying to get people to laugh at something. And, you know, sometimes it doesn't work for everyone."

And last year, Ricky Gervais said it was having a negative impact on the art of comedy.

Speaking with The Times Radio, Ricky said: "Now [The Office] would suffer because people would take things literally.

"There are these outrage mobs who take things out of context.

"This was a show about everything - it was about difference, it was about sex, race, all the things that people fear to even be discussed or talked about now, in case they say the wrong thing and they are cancelled."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Jimmy Carr, Entertainment, UK Entertainment, Ricky Gervais

Dominic Smithers
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