In a move you don’t see everyday, comedian Patton Oswalt took his entire profession to task for essentially paving the way for the rise of Donald Trump and the alt-right by making “ironic” racist jokes. All too often these days, comics circle the wagons and wail about cancel culture (looking at you, Joe Rogan), but not Oswalt. While stopping by The Al Franken Podcast, he lamented his generation’s over-use of irony, which he feels handed the alt-right a “blueprint” to mask their actions.
“We thought we were beyond racism. There was a lot of ironic racism amongst a lot of alt-comedy, a lot of Gen X, because we thought, ‘Well, we’re beyond it. We can make fun of that,’” Oswalt said before explaining how that attitude provided cover for Trump and his ilk. Via Mediaite:
“We didn’t realize we were actually mapping out a blueprint for a lot of the alt-right people and a lot of the edgelords and a lot of the shit posters to use for them to go ‘I’m just being ironic,’” he continued. “You’re trying to grandfather your shit in and we are partially responsible for doing that.”
Franken wasn’t entirely on-board with that argument and said that comedians should be more like George Carlin and his generation of comics who push boundaries, but Oswalt wasn’t having that characterization.
“But they were pushing for more openness,” Oswalt argued. “The people that are doing the edgelord stuff now are pushing for, ‘Can we go back to the way,’ think[ing], ‘Can I go back to being able to say these horrible things?’ It’s like, no, we gotta keep moving forward.”
(Via The Al Franken Podcast)