You don’t have to be a conservative comic to feel Big Tech’s wrath.
Comedian Tyler Fischer isn’t openly Left or Right. He’s a free thinker who bounces from Biden to Trump impressions on stage.
He still felt Big Tech’s wrath via his hilarious Dr. Anthony Fauci impressions.
Ryan Long, whose comic style is aggressively apolitical, has also felt that censorial bite.
Comedian Sam Morril just joined the canceled club.
Morril, who may lean to the Left but offers a balanced on-stage presentation, is a rising star in comedy circles. He made his first Netflix special, “Same Time Tomorrow,” last year and is selling out clubs on his current “Class Act” tour.
He even snared a coveted interview on the “Joe Rogan Experience” in 2022.
He’s R-rated, no doubt, and while he dabbles in culture war issues he doesn’t pledge allegiance to either side of the aisle. He’s quick to poke the woke Left, and in the next breath embrace a progressive narrative.
Morril just got a lesson in how certain jokes are no longer permissible on major platforms. He shared a heated message on Twitter, owned by free-speech friendly Elon Musk, about a modest comedy bit that got yanked by Team Instagram.
He’s not happy, nor should he be.
You spend all this time building a following on these apps and they keep moving the goal post in. An inoffensive joke pulled for “bullying and harassment.” Bullshit apps that get rich off of our free content then act like hall monitors. pic.twitter.com/CGng0Io22X
— Sam Morril (@sammorril) January 20, 2023
He makes some valuable points. The vague guidelines used by social media giants are infuriating, and they’re purposely fuzzy enough to allow for a greater range of censorship.
Authoritarians use that approach to coax citizens to self-censor. And it works.
Today’s comedians need social media to support their careers. Most stand-ups lean on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to promote their shows, build a following and experiment with fresh material.
Instagram and co., in turn, need creators like Morril to fill their digital shelves with content. It’s hypocritical for the same tech giants to arbitrarily claim a specific sketch or image is off-limits. And, as is often the case, there’s little chance for appeal or clarity on the matter.
Big Tech censorship is inextricably tied to Cancel Culture, a scourge on free expression.
Of course, some comedians insist Cancel Culture is a myth. Chelsea Handler thinks a comedian should just stop being racist and he or she will be fine. Marc Maron says comedians who cry foul over censorship are the problem, not the censors themselves.
Morril won’t be the last comedian to find his work censored on social media. The more stand-ups who talk about it, the better the odds that Big Tech will reconsider its censorial ways.