Joker Star Marc Maron Breaks Silence on Director's Comments About "Woke Culture"

In the days leading up to the Joker premiere, filmmaker Todd Phillips suggested it was nearly impossible to be funny with the budding "woke culture," as he put it. As one might expect, Twitter was set ablaze with those slamming the director for the comments. Now, at least one Joker star has publicly disagreed with the director's comments; on a recent episode of his WTF with Marc Maron podcast, comedian and Joker star Marc Maron reminded his listeners he doesn't share the same thought process as the filmmaker.

“There’s plenty of people being funny right now," Maron said. "Not only being funny, but being really fucking funny. There are still lines to be rode. 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. Y’know, that excitement.”

The GLOW alum then suggested Phillips might be "too intimidated" if he wasn't able to do deep, provocative comedy without hurting someone. The comments initially surfaced in a Vanity Fair piece where Phillips encouraged people to "try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture."

“There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the f*cking funny guys are like, ‘F*ck this sh*t, because I don’t want to offend you,'" Phillips ranted. "It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies—I think that what comedies in general all have in common—is they’re irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but f*ck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”

Joker is now in theaters. Other upcoming DC Films movies include Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.

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Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

(h/t The Playlist)