Comedian Josh Denny knows a thing or two about Cancel Culture.
In 2018, Denny sent out a Tweet that did more than touch the third rail of race in America. It ripped it out of the ground and gave it a hearty shake.
“Straight White Male” has become this century’s N-Word. It’s used to offend and diminish the recipient based on assumption and bias. No difference in the usage.
— Josh Denny (@JoshDenny) May 18, 2018
For that provocative comment the former Food Network host suffered a Twitter mob assault … and more.
He lost a monthly comedy show gig directly following the Twitter kerfuffle. The sharp opinion may have cost him other gigs as well. It’s often hard to track the reasons a performer doesn’t land a particular part. He shares one such example in this recent, revealing Q&A.
Now, Denny is weighing in on fellow comic Jim Gaffigan’s recent anti-Trump rant. Denny isn’t attacking Gaffigan. Nor is he addressing the specific comments the “Hot Pockets” comic blasted across social media. Instead, Denny tackles the culture’s reaction to Gaffigan’s rant as well as the hypocrisy baked into the discussion.
I’ve always liked @JimGaffigan. I’ve never met him. I don’t agree with everything he said in his rant this past week, but I’ll defend his right to say it. Here’s my problem when this happens though (I’m going to tweet my thoughts, so strap in):
— Josh Denny (@JoshDenny) August 31, 2020
Denny followed up that Tweet with a long series of comments and questions. Here are some of the highlights:
There is NO persecution for someone espousing the views that Jim shared. Sure, you’ll see a bunch of nobodies or bots, or fringe right wing people denouncing their fandom, but overall you’ll see overwhelming support from celebs and tastemakers the industry over…
Anyone can “step on a ledge,” say something that’s widely agreed upon, and pretend it’s a risk and be lauded as a hero. And guess what? I’m fine with that.
But some of us lose EVERYTHING trying to do the same thing. Standing up for what we believe in. For what we think is right. And we’re not millionaires. And we’re not saying the “popular” thing.
Denny shared some simple beliefs that are suddenly out of vogue in our increasingly woke times.
Some of us just believe that all racism is bad, and that we have to stop allowing it to be directed at white people like that’s progress; it’s not. It’s just tribal disgust turned on it’s head. It’s “eye for an eye” treatment; it’s not progress.
Yet, when people like myself in 2018, or @terrycrews say unpopular or risky things to get this point across -- we’re mocked, run out of the business, and called “risky” or “toxic.” And those labels stick.
Denny shared his personal reflections on Cancel Culture, revealing the qualified support he received two year ago.
When I was “canceled” two years ago, I received DOZENS of messages of support from A listers I had never met. But ZERO of it publicly. It was ALL private. In PUBLIC, everyone agreed I was probably just some racist that deserves what I got.
Denny appears to be right-of-center, and he says that’s a career hurdle many can’t overcome.
Being a conservative in this industry today, is like being gay in the 50’s: you’d rather kill yourself than be outed. And you motherfuckers LOVE it like that.
So spare me the “we’re the party of compassion.”
You’re not. You’re the party of “comply, or die.”
You know that’s the fascism you constantly accuse Trump of, right?
Cancel Culture thrives, in part, because the biggest names in Hollywood don’t fight back. They stay silent or actively support it, and freedom suffers as a result. It’s what Denny says in his final Twitter volley.
I’ve said this several times: it’s insanely cowardly to ride the first amendment to moneytown, and then close the door behind you for those that don’t agree with you.
You want an America where we all are free? Publicly back someone that disagrees with you. Have some F***ING BALLS. Stop expecting a trophy for saying the popular s*** everyone agrees with. You want a better country? Risk something to reach across the ideological aisle.
HiT has reached out to Denny for further comment.