Members of FX comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” weighed in on recent attacks on free speech and creative expression during Sunday’s Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.
“I was so depressed,” Charlie Day said of the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and “The Interview.” “We did a North Korea episode in Season 3 and not even an angry call?”
But, on a serious note, Day said, “You can’t worry about it. That’s a weird, freak thing that happened.”
Executive producer and star Glenn Howerton interjected, “It might start happening more and more.”
“You just have to press on,” Day continued. “We as a culture have to press on. You can’t be bothered by it, the things that went on in France. If anything, it makes us want to write episodes addressing it. But we know it will come a year after we wrote it and it’ll be old.”
In regards to creative expression (and in light of the outlandish things the show has portrayed), Howerton laid out one limit on their comedy.
“We would never do anything we consider cruel as writers,” he said. “The characters can be considered cruel. But on the creative side, never as the creators of the show, would we ever have any characters do something that would make it seem like we’re advocating anything cruel.”
The show is currently airing its 10th season and goes back to production on Season 11 in April. With all those seasons under their belt, the team admitted they can sometimes forget that they’ve already done something.
“Usually, someone remembers about four or five minutes into the conservation,” Day said of getting close to repeating ideas.
Howerton sees it as a challenge.
“The good thing about it is it forces us to be more creative with where you take characters,” he said. Finding new dimensions to the characters. When you don’t have the low-hanging fruit because you’ve used it, you have to really scrounge around. Sometimes, you find stuff you wouldn’t have found before. That’s the beauty of that kind of restriction. You’re forced to get more and more creative to find new twists and turns in stories to keep you on your toes.”
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. and is renewed by FX through Season 12.