B.J. Novak Shuts Down Bill Maher’s ‘Cancel Culture’ Nonsense

On Friday night, Bill Maher welcome a guest who is not able to come Real time: BJ Novak, Office writer/co-star, bestselling author and filmmaker.

Novak visited the HBO show to promote his feature film directorial debut Retribution, an indie twister about an opportunistic New York City journalist/podcaster who ventures to the red state of Texas to investigate the death of a former flamethrower. So, naturally, Maher tried to engage Novak on some of the prominent cultural issues related to the political divide in the country.

Maher started things off by asking Novak about “perceived dissonance, I don’t agree with you politically, but I like you personally… how can we do it at the level national level?”

“In my opinion, it’s more about emotion than argument, and I think it’s about preventing ourselves from picking up things that we don’t agree with,” Novak explained calmly. “Twitter is a panacea for that, and when we separate behind screens, we pick up scabs, we bite into wounds caused by things we disagree with. And I think if we all tried to do it less, and focus on things like comedy, sports, art, or whatever, or sit down to dinner, I think that’s a big deal. start. “

The audience gave Novak a round of applause, prompting Maher to sneer awkwardly.

Then Maher forays into the so-called “cancellation culture,” which in this case implies the notion that satisfied Twitter audiences are somehow censoring Hollywood productions, not the other way around. .

“We’ve been talking a lot about this show lately — we’ll talk about it tonight — freedom in the arts,” suggested Maher, before continuing: “You know, you wrote Some episodes of… Office which they are not showing now. I see Jamie Foxx’s new movie has been folded — I guess he did it a few years ago, but they’re not going to show it. They do less comedy. I mean, you’ve found a way to make a comedy about one thing, but I’m sure you have to be very careful about a lot of different things. They earn less because it’s not worth the try. Where are you up there? ”

Novak is not so convinced of Maher’s theory. “I think there’s a difference between gatekeepers and spectators — and I think you’ve seen this firsthand as a stand-up. I think the audience was pretty frustrated by everything,” he said. “They are quite intelligent people, and can be trusted a lot more than the sometimes nervous gatekeepers. The gatekeepers are worried about the chaos in their area, but I think the audience can be trusted to be quite intelligent people. ”

“But it’s not in the hands of the audience,” Maher countered.

“That’s what I’m saying,” Novak replied. “I’m saying, I don’t think the problem is that the audience is too sensitive. I think the problem is that people worry that other people are too sensitive”.

Maher was speechless.

The Office The controversial episode Maher mentioned could use a bit of context. He is referring to an episode of Office“Diversity Day”, that Comedy Central decided to skip it from one Office marathon on its network. The episode is still available on streaming services and for purchase, so this is clearly the decision of the gatekeepers, not the audience, as Novak has argued.

About Jamie Foxx’s film directorial debut All-Star Weekend, which the actor has stated has been put on hold indefinitely due to sensitivities to Robert Downey Jr playing a Mexican in the film, well, the movie was shot back in 2016, and appears to have scenes Foxx plays a white racist cop and Downey Jr. like a Mexican. The film was originally scheduled for a February 2018 release, through the NBA All-Star weekend, but was not completed in time. Its release date was later pushed up a year to the 2019 NBA All-Star weekend but was still not finished in time. All-Star WeekendIts release was then pushed to late 2019 and then 2021, but seems to be on ice for now. We don’t know if this has anything to do with film quality or other factors, but rest assured, it’s the studio’s decision.

An important piece of information that Maher was not comfortable mentioning All-Star Weekend that is, in addition to its obvious post-production problems, Jeremy Piven ran into a second problem in the film. Late 2017 to early 2018 eight women accuse Piven of sexual misconduct.

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