LOS ANGELES – Cedric the Entertainer didn’t hold back in voicing his concern over the recent trend of lambasting comedians and actors over their opinions.
The actor and comedian told Fox News he "applauds" performers like Bill Burr and Dave Chappelle for their willingness to go out on a limb with their jokes, but joked that they better have a hefty chunk of change stashed away just in case they get called out on Twitter.
“I applaud those guys...Bill Burr and [Dave] Chappelle,” the 54-year-old, whose real name is Cedric Antonio Kyles, told Fox News at the 19th Annual Emmys Golf Classic benefiting the Television Academy Foundation in Los Angeles, Calif. on Monday.
“They’re guys of mine and I appreciate their candor and their bravery and hopefully they’ve got a fund for the day it all goes wrong,” he joked. “Chappelle done spent all that $40 million – they’re gonna get your ass,” he continued in his off-the-cuff remarks.
The “Neighborhood” star explained why it’s nearly impossible to escape the political conversation in a society that seemingly bridges the gap between comedy, politics and entertainment on a daily basis.
“Well, the thing is the comedian is basically the orator and they have the vision of seeing society as a whole. Right now politics and the way politics gets into our lives is very infused in how we all communicate. You can’t even get around it without having to basically say I have a point of view about any of these things that come raw,” he said.
“Even something as much as the violence that we’ve had in the last couple of days in the United States starts to end up being on who or what political party they belong to. I mean, a deranged individual is crazy, but a deranged individual doing it for the sake of politics is something that again, as a comedian you’re going to have to take that and however you interpret it – you’re going to make that a part of your comedy.”
The Missouri-born star touched on the firings of media personalities who were terminated for offensive remarks made on television and called the trend a “slippery slope,” while recognizing that as a public figure, it’s easy for an opinion to be taken out of context.
"I say let a comedian do what they do. If they want to cuss, if they want to say something that’s over the line – again, the idea that people are now being judged by one soundbite and then literally losing their jobs over it – literally losing their careers over it is a very slippery slope."
Cedric the Entertainer clarified that he holds this stance regardless of political and social affiliation, and maintained that comedians often have to answer for their words more than others.
“I say that even for people who I don’t agree with. It’s just a slippery slope of when somebody states an opinion and you go – ‘you should be fired,’ or ‘you should lose everything you’ve ever had because I disagree with you.’ It’s tough.”
He continued: “Comics are really the most subjected to it because we walk out there and a lot of times you’re thinking about an idea and you’re not quite sure what the idea is and you may say something that could really end up being offensive, but it wasn’t really your intent.”