The Conversation Sparked by Louis CK’s Defense of Tracy Morgan

In terms of those events, I fail to see why CK is any more qualified to say what happened than the “third-hand” listeners he’s inveighing against. Louis CK, himself, is a third-hand listener. The person “who fucked up” is not. The person “who fucked up” is a gay man living in a state where the government is actively trying to make it easier for gay kids to get stomped out at school. All together, I think this defense has a lot more to do with Louis CK than it does with Tracy Morgan. CK makes a living saying impolite things, which by his lights, take us to “scary places.” He’s damn good at it, but I suspect he could easily see someone taking one of his bits and either out of ignorance, or out of malice, causing him a lot of pain. I understand that fear. But I also think it’s worth pointing out that America is not exactly starved of dissident humorists who take us to those “scary places.” This is not 1956. South Park is in its fifteenth season. Sarah Silverman is a star. The right to say impolite things is sacred and essential. Unfortunately, the right to not be misinterpreted is not.

The Tracy Morgan conversation continues over at The Atlantic, where Ta-Nehisi Coates rebuts Louis CK’s argument that the comedy stage is a safe space:

This whole thing has been a fascinating learning experience. @tanehisi wrote a great piece that I don’t completely agree with. I would love to say I was wrong, because that means I’ve grown. I don’t feel that yet, but I’m listening. Here’s what I think is great. Folks are talking. It’s stimulating and it opens doors. I guess I felt like I was hearing just the one thing about this over and over again. I just said something different.

Louis CK himself tweeted about the piece, saying:

He’s right; no matter what you think about Morgan’s rant, the conversation it’s started about offensive humor has indeed been fascinating, and I think valuable as well.

The Conversation Sparked by Louis CK’s Defense of […]