Leave it to Katt Williams to shut down the never-ending time waste that is “cancel culture” discourse in a way that is funny, sensitive, and clear as day. Leave it to Joe Budden to bring up cancel culture in the first place. On the June 2 episode of the Joe Budden Podcast, Budden asked his guest, comedian Katt Williams, “where do you stand on comics’ ability to be comics without judgment and repercussion, in cancel culture?” Williams fires back with an analogy: “If you ask all the people that didn’t make it to the NBA, if you asked them, if we just lowered the goal down another foot, they would all tell you they’d make it. Nobody likes the out of bounds, but the out of bounds gotta be there, or you’ll run up in the stands.”
Williams is illustrating two points at once: that certain comedians blame the notion of cancel culture to explain why they’re not achieving the success or even just the laughs that they believe they deserve, and that rules exist for logical reasons, even if you chafe against them. Williams continues, “My point is, people weren’t all that extremely funny when they could say whatever they wanted to say. At the end of the day, there’s no cancel culture. Cancellation doesn’t have its own culture.” Williams then reminds the hosts of the inherent power imbalance at the root of cancel-culture controversies, saying what’s been labeled “cancel culture” by certain famous comedians is really “people without a voice being trashed by people just because they had a bigger name than them, and more money than them, and a better office than them.” The kicker is when he says, “I don’t know what people we think got ‘canceled’ that we wish we had back.” He’s a real little guy for the little guys.
Williams also points out that people who complain about cancel culture on their late-night shows and hundred-thousand-follower accounts aren’t actually being censored. “If you wanna offend somebody, no one took those words away from you. ‘Dirty bitch’ ain’t been taken away. You can say that … But don’t use the R-word when you really mean people on the spectrum. Don’t say this word instead of saying autistic. Don’t say this word instead of saying little people. Look. If these are the confines that are keeping you from doing the craft God put you to, it probably ain’t for you.” If one of our greatest living stand-ups is telling you that “cancel culture” might really be more of a “maybe you’re just not that funny” culture, heed it.