The Opposition Weighs In
On the heels of these comments Marc Maron, who flexed his acting chops in a supporting role in Joker, was first to give his two cents. On his WTF podcast, Maron said:
If you like to ride a line, you can still ride a line. If you want to take chances, you can still take chances. Really, the only thing that’s off the table, culturally, at this juncture—and not even entirely—is shamelessly punching down for the sheer joy of hurting people. For the sheer excitement and laughter that some people get from causing people pain, from making people uncomfortable, from making people feel excluded.
Maron, a prolific stand-up comic with a career spanning three decades, went on to say:
No one’s telling you that you can’t say things or do things. It’s just that it’s going to be received a certain way by certain people, and you’re going to have to shoulder that. And if you’re isolated, or marginalized or pushed into a corner because of your point of view or what you have to say, yet you still have a crew of people that enjoy it, there you go. Those are your people.
The debate set in motion by Phillips v. Maron has become a call-to-arms for other celebrities to weigh in. Comedian Nick Kroll (The League, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks & Rec.) sided with Maron’s camp when he stated in a recent interview, “I think you can still make big crazy hard jokes of all sorts. And I think you have to be maybe more thoughtful in how you make them and who the targets of those jokes are.”
Director Taika Watiti (What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor: Ragnarok) re-tweeted Phillips’ Vanity Fair interview, captioning the post simply, “LOL he funny.” The tweet comes in the wake of Watiti’s latest work, Jojo Rabbit, which premiered early last month at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film is described as a coming-of-age satire with a heart. It follows a German boy who wrestles with an existential conflict after discovering a Jewish girl in his attic. Once a devout Nazi Youth, the boy is now forced to question his beliefs, assisted only by his imaginary friend—Adolf Hitler. That’s right. Hitler. A clumsy, pep-talking, lovable Hitler, played by Watiti himself. The film won the coveted People’s Choice Award at TIFF.
Clearly, Watiti knows a thing or two about doing irreverence the right way.