Despite each being at the center of highly publicized controversies in recent memory, comedians Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K. made headlines this week by scoring nominations for the upcoming 2022 Grammy Awards.
What are the details?
Chappelle — who recently became embroiled in social media backlash as a result of his new Netflix special, "The Closer" — was nominated for best spoken word album for his work on "8:46," a performance special in which the comedian remarks on violence against black Americans amid protests following George Floyd's death.
Earlier this year, the comedian become the target of the cancel culture mob for statements he made in "The Closer" that were considered insensitive to the transgender community. But Chappelle has refused to bow down to pressure.
In a video posted to his Instagram last month, he addressed the outrage, saying, "To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody's demands. And if you want to meet with me, I'd be more than willing to, but I have some conditions."
C.K., whose real name is Louis Szekely, was nominated for best comedy album for his latest comedy special, "Sincerely Louis CK." It is the comedian's first release since admitting to indecently exposing himself to multiple women on several different occasions.
Many thought C.K. would never make a successful return to comedy given how intense the backlash was over his actions.
What was the reaction?
The surprising news caused some critics online to question whether cancel culture is dead.
Legal analyst and "The Young Turks" contributor Adrienne Lawrence blasted, "Louis CK, Kevin Hart, and Dave Chappelle were all nominated for Grammys? If this is 'cancel culture,' may every woman comedian I know be canceled instead of simply underpaid and unrecognized."
Louis CK, Kevin Hart, and Dave Chappelle were all nominated for Grammys?\n\nIf this is "cancel culture," may every woman comedian I know be cancelled instead of simply underpaid and unrecognized.— Adrienne Lawrence, Esq. (@Adrienne Lawrence, Esq.) 1637691801
BuzzFeed News writer David Mack quipped, "Only one grammy nom each for dave chappelle, kevin hart, and louis CK!! cancel culture strikes again!!"
only one grammy nom each for dave chappelle, kevin hart, and louis CK!! cancel culture strikes again!!— David Mack (@David Mack) 1637689160
Others chimed in with shock and disappointment of their own. Below are a few examples:
- "I see cancel culture is in full swing, seeing as Dave Chappelle and Louis CK have cruelly been nominated for Grammys," tweeted Simon Young.
- "For those monitoring the deep struggles of cancel culture, Dave Chappelle and Louis CK were both nominated for Grammys today," wrote one user.
- "Someone tell me how 'cancel culture' irrevocably ruins people's careers again. Just for old times' sake," lamented another.
- "You really can't tell me that cancel culture exists when Louis CK, Dr Luke & Dave Chappelle have all received Grammy nominations today," added one critic.
- Still another added: "Just a reminder that louis ck, marilyn manson, dababy & dave chappelle were all just nominated for grammys and 'cancel culture' is still just a meaningless lexical device used to erase accountability and minimize the real world violence women and queer/trans people face every day."
- "There is no cancel culture. If there was, then Dave Chappelle and Louis CK wouldn't have been nominated for a grammy," stated one user.
One exasperated critic even went on to argue that cancel culture was "created by the alt-right because they hate being held responsible for all the sexist, racist, homo/trans/xenophobic things they say."
In response to the concerns, Recording Academy's CEO Harvey Mason Jr. defended the Grammy nominations and noted that the group does not "restrict" people based on their pasts.
"We won't restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration. We won't look back at people's history, we won't look at their criminal record, we won't look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration," Mason told the Wrap.
"What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets. We'll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we'll make our decisions at that point. But we're not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on," he added.