Bill Burr and Bill Maher think Louis C.K. should be uncanceled: 'It's been long enough'

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Bill Burr says cancel culture is over. Bill Maher isn’t so sure. The one thing the two Bills in comedy can agree on? Louis C.K. should be welcomed back into their industry.

On Sunday’s episode of Maher’s podcast, “Club Random,” the political commentator and comic had a nearly two-hour conversation that touched on everything from self-driving cars to the Israel-Hamas war.

Disgraced comedian C.K. came up when Maher told Burr he had a bright future as a director and likened his work to C.K.’s directorial ventures. The pair agreed they enjoyed the 2022 film “Fourth of July,” which the “Louie” actor directed, independently produced and financed.

“Don’t get me started on that,” Maher said of C.K.’s struggle to successfully return to the entertainment industry after being accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct at the height of the #MeToo movement.

“Isn’t it time everyone just went, ‘OK, it wasn’t a cool thing to do, but it’s been long enough and welcome back?’” Maher said.

In a 2017 New York Times article, actors and comedians Dana Min Goodman, Julia Wolov, Abby Schachner, Rebecca Corry and a fifth woman who remained anonymous alleged that C.K. masturbated — or requested to — in front of them. He later admitted to the behavior and acknowledged there was a power imbalance between him and the female comics, saying he “wielded that power irresponsibly.”

Burr agreed with Maher’s assessment, and said, “They took $50 million from him, I think they punished him,” referring to the $35 million C.K. said he lost in “one hour” from the blow to his reputation, likely speaking hyperbolically.

“Enough! For Christ’s sake, it’s not the end of the world,” Maher added. “People have done so much worse things and gotten less. There’s no rhyme or reason to this #MeToo-type punishment.”

Burr and Maher agreed that C.K.’s future work should be embraced instead of avoided, as it has been since the allegations were made public. In the wake of the scandal, “I Love You, Daddy,” the 2017 movie that C.K. wrote, directed and starred in, was shelved. “Fourth of July” was a box office bomb, making just under $10,000 in its U.S. opening weekend.

They disagreed, however, when Burr declared that cancel culture was over, saying, “nobody cares anymore.” The comedian went on to say he doesn’t think about being canceled based on his comedy and disagrees with the idea that the content of a comic’s jokes are cancel-worthy.

“That’s so not true. Either one of us could get canceled in the next two minutes,” Maher said.

Even though his films following his Hollywood ouster were unsuccessful, C.K. has managed to make a somewhat quiet return to comedy. He started touring again in 2019 with an “anti-woke”-themed stand-up show meant to appeal to those fed up with cancel culture. He won a Grammy in 2022 for his comedy album “Sincerely Louis C.K.” and was nominated again in the same category last year.

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