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Comedian Louis CK has once again triggered his critics, this time with a new independent comedy special titled ‘Sorry,’ and the intense reactions prove that there is a way to fight cancel culture.

It was difficult to tell what the future held for CK in 2017 after he became one of the most high-profile faces of the #MeToo movement. While the allegations about CK were suspiciously nowhere near as egregious as the stories attached to Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey, the comedian still owned up to his misdeeds and then his career began swirling the drain.

His Emmy-winning series ‘Louie’ was dropped by FX, he lost a voice role in ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2,’ his unfortunately-titled directorial effort ‘I Love You, Daddy’ was shelved … the industry ostracized CK, some would say for good reason. 

People, however, missed the man’s comedy, evidenced by the success of CK’s first jump back with the independent special ‘Sincerely Louis CK,’ released last year. Now the comedian returns with ‘Sorry,’ another independently-produced and distributed comedy special that has ruffled some feathers for simply existing. 

Some claim the fact that CK has figured out a way to still earn a living as a comedian and entertainer without the backing of the industry is cold hard proof that cancel culture does not exist, as those pesky right-wingers keep insisting it does. Still, people insisted CK needs to “go away forever” and putting out a comedy special proves he’s “learned nothing.”

To say cancel culture doesn’t exist because Louis CK put together a couple comedy specials and advertised one during a comedy show on NBC ('Saturday Night Live') to potentially get more eyeballs – all of this done because he lost several high-profile gigs and can’t work – is not just flawed thinking, it’s the exact sort of tribal partisanship that prevents so many from having level-headed discussions on a variety of topics, including something as silly as a comedian from New York who still likes telling the occasional anus-related zinger. 

CK’s new special is hilarious, an adjective even those wanting to see him deprived of work would be hard-pressed to argue doesn’t fit the man. The comedian leans directly into the controversy surrounding him, never reveling in his actions or the mess that became of his career, but rather treating it like another sore topic that will make both himself and the audience uncomfortable, yet laughing together from a mix of nervousness and daring spirit. 

“How are you all enjoying living the way I was for a couple of years? Welcome to my life … can’t work, can’t go outside … can’t show your face,” CK jokes about life in pandemic lockdowns at one point. During another Covid-related bit, he goes after ‘Karens’ comparing Covid-19 to multiple 9/11 terrorist attacks based solely on the death count.

It’s when he’s taking on the ticking time bomb subjects other comedians ignore out of fear that CK is at his best, and there are few subjects he shies away from in ‘Sorry.’ He takes on pedophilia, Defund the Police, and everything in between. 

CK even takes a page from Dave Chappelle’s playbook at one point and jokes about the one subject we have all been told is off limits and can only be discussed with pre-scripted note cards handed to us by our much wiser political and media overlords: gender. CK decides the best thing to ruffle some more feathers is taking on this very subject, informing the audience that each of them came from two “boring” heterosexual people. 

“With an original [penis], not a turned inside out [vagina],” he joked. 

For as many people as CK’s new work seems to anger, just as many are still supporting the comedian and praising his unmatched style.

However one feels about CK’s past actions, he’s done far more to atone than others who did far worse, and whether he is collectively forgiven or not, he remains a comedian. What do we want him to do? Wash cars? Drive a taxi? He’s a comedian who hasn’t had the best personal judgement and at least paid some price (whether more was deserved is a different discussion) for actions he’s admitted to. How much more moral validation are woke mobs asking of a comedian whose bread and butter is vulgar comedy before they deem him fit to exist in the world? 

Plenty of others besides CK have had to turn to the independent route after losing gigs after telling the wrong joke or expressing the wrong belief, but the comedian has shown how you can do it successfully, and that is what truly angers his critics. He doesn’t need to rely on the Hollywood machine and do the same direct promotion he did in the past, to discuss politics on late night TV, to make silly radio appearances, etc. He simply creates and people buy, and it is this simple act of commerce that defies cancel culture and keeps CK’s audience hysterically laughing.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.