Seth Rogen is sick of hearing comedians use cancel culture as a reason to complain that some of their older jokes have aged badly or seem distasteful.
The comedian and “Pineapple Express” writer appeared on U.K. talk show Good Morning Britain to promote his new essay collection “Yearbook” and also shared his takes on learning from mistakes in the comedy business. Host Susanna Reid asked Rogen if he thought that some of the more controversial jokes in his older films held up.
“There are certain jokes that for sure have not aged well, but I think that’s the nature of comedy,” Rogen told Good Morning Britain. “I think conceptually those movies are sound, and I think there’s a reason they’ve lasted as far as people still watching and enjoying them today. Jokes are not things that necessarily are built to last.”
He added that he doesn’t get it when comedians blame cancel culture or changing societal norms for their jokes not doing well with current audiences.
“To me when I see comedians complaining about this kind of thing, I don’t understand what they’re complaining about. If you’ve made a joke that’s aged terribly, accept it. And if you don’t think it’s aged terribly, then say that,” Rogan said. “Saying terrible things is bad. So if you said something terrible, then that’s something you should confront … I don’t think that’s cancel culture.”
Reid asked Rogen if he would ever feel the need to go back and delete any old jokes from his Twitter account, but Rogen said no. “I was never a comedian that made jokes that were truly designed to target groups that were subjugated in some way,” he told Reid.
Rogen actually got a kick out of some early coverage of his interview and said a Sky News headline using a quote of his from the interview about smoking pot every day “legit made me laugh out loud.”
The avid potter and cannabis entrepreneur also said he believes that after 20-plus years in the film and comedy business, taking other people’s feedback on your work is key to evolving it. “One of the things that goes along with being an artist, and if you don’t like that, then don’t be a comedian anymore,” Rogan said in the interview. “To me, it’s not worth complaining about to the degree I see other comedians complaining about.”