Jay Roach vs Todd Phillips on Whether ‘Woke Culture’ Is Killing Comedy Movies

WAXWORD

“Everyone is too touchy,” Phillips, the director of “Joker,” tells me — but “Bombshell” filmmaker Roach feels otherwise

I have been obsessing lately over the decline of big-screen comedies and the fact that some of the leading comedy directors of our time have turned serious in recent years, from “Hangover” creator Todd Phillips with his dark global hit “Joker” to Jay Roach, going from “Austin Powers” to “Game Change” and now “Bombshell.”

This fall, “Joker” has powered its way to $1 billion at the global box office, the benchmark usually set by superhero sagas rather than social commentary, while the mid-December release of “Bombshell” takes on sexual harassment at Fox News. Neither film is funny, and both are ambitious swings by two top directors.

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Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman, is the founder, CEO and Editor in Chief of TheWrap. She is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, and was a Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times.