Amber Ruffin Says Louis C.K. Proves Being ‘Canceled’ Isn’t Real
For Emmy-nominated late-night host Amber Ruffin, only one person in the world can be truly cancelled: Kanye West — maybe.
The star of The Amber Ruffin Show hosted the Ebony Power 100 Gala on Saturday where she took a moment to talk to People about the oft-discussed impact of cancel culture on comedy. The prolific TV writer and best-selling author explained her position on the topic, which, in short, is that almost nobody who is ever canceled stays canceled, since the world typically moves on after each individual outrage. That is, unless you tweet that you’re going to go “deathcon 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
“I think, most of the time, people get canceled because that is the consequences for their actions,” explained Ruffin, who spent six years on the staff of Late Night with Seth Meyers before landing her own late-night show in 2020. “And, you know, we’re saying cancel, but that’s not true. Ain’t nobody being canceled except maybe Kanye. Geez, he might be the only one true canceling, cause damn.”
Ruffin downplayed the effect that cancel culture has on the greater comedy community, saying, “A lot of those people that we canceled a minute ago, they’re tour and s—.” Ruffin then specified, “Louis C.K. is on tour, people are fine. These cancellations, these cancelings are not sticking. So I think people are experiencing consequences for their actions and then they’re moving on.”
It’s hard to argue with her point about C.K. In the wake of his widely publicized admission of sexual misconduct in 2017, C.K.’s career seemed to have been entirely ended. But just a year later, C.K. was back onstage; then in 2019, he launched an international tour. In 2020, he released a new special, Sincerely, Louis C.K., which won him the Grammy for Best Comedy Album. He followed that up with another special, Sorry, in 2021. He’s even back in the film business — his 2017 film I Love You, Daddy was pulled from distribution, but earlier this year, C.K. released his self-written, self-directed and self-produced film Fourth of July.
In comedy, cancelation clearly isn’t a death sentence. The collective attention span on issues like these isn’t long enough for critics of canceled comics to keep those controversial figures from reviving their careers after the initial outrage blows over. Maybe if Kanye lays low for a year like C.K. did, it will blow over for him, too.
Just kidding, Kanye has no clue how to lay low.