Former Saturday Night Live star and Ghostbusters franchise writer/actor Dan Aykroyd has thrown his full support behind cancel culture, recently claiming that comedy deemed offensive should be “rightly cancelled for its hurtfulness.”
“There is enough range in humor where you don’t have to go scatological and you don’t have to go pulling any divisive cards to get a laugh,” said the actor in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “There is so much in the world to comment on that is outside the realm of offensiveness. As a writer, you can go to other areas and have successful creative endeavors. Scatological humor is fun. It’s easy laughs.”
He then asserted, “But there is more intelligent writing that can happen if you stay away from the offensive material that should be rightly canceled for its hurtfulness Who can be the subject of an impression today? That’s an area of discussion.”
“Can I do my James Brown imitation?” he continued. “He was one of my best friends. I do his voice pretty good. But maybe I shouldn’t anymore.”
Interestingly, a few years ago Aykroyd was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where he not only sang one of Brown’s all-time classic tunes – I’ll Go Crazy, performed with assistance from blues legend Bobby Rush – but he also shared an anecdote in which he did an impression of his friend.
The anecdote itself was not, in any imaginable way, a dig at Brown, but according to Akyroyd, the impression could be deemed offensive simply because Brown was a black man and he is not.
Aykroyd didn’t specify whether his stance on ‘offensive material’ means that he’ll refrain from doing impressions of Brown or singing any more of his late friend’s discography, but going by his woke logic, he shouldn’t be doing either.
It is also worth pointing out that Aykroyd wore blackface in the timeless comedy Trading Places, starring alongside Eddie Murphy, where his character disguised himself as a Jamaican with a heavy regional accent for comedic effect.
Trading Places hit theatres in 1983, and almost four decades later, Aykroyd has yet to receive backlash for doing that particular scene. Considering how much he supports cancel culture these days, it seems odd that the actor has yet to apologise for wearing blackface in the past – even though he shouldn’t have to.
Further, in 2016, following the release of the all-female Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, Aykroyd himself pulled a “divisive [card] to get a laugh” by comparing Leslie Jones haters to Donald Trump supporters, going as far as claiming that most of the actress’ online abusers were “obese white men between 50 and 60 who are active Klan members.”
“I would say you’re looking at obese white men between 50 and 60 who are active Klan members, or members of the Aryan Nation, and there are millions of them,” Aykroyd said at the time. “These people, they’re insignificant gnats, they’re losers, they have no lives of their own. They can probably barely pay for the wifi they’re using.”
He concluded, “I don’t think that Trump and Pence are as racist as the people who attacked Leslie Jones, I really don’t. Trump may be saying some things to go that way to get some votes but — well I don’t know.”
Perhaps Aykroyd should apologise for falsely claiming that former President Trump and his followers are racist, as such bold accusations, with or without any empirical evidence, would easily get him cancelled were he a right-leaning actor criticising the current president.
What do you make of Aykroyd’s comments on cancel culture? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below or on social media.