Being John Malkovich sometimes means calling out stupidity.
The 66-year-old actor, who stars in Netflix’s new series “Space Force,” blasted “outrage culture” on Thursday, calling it “toxic.”
“What’s funny yesterday becomes illegal today and the person uttering it must be canceled,” Malkovich told the New York Daily News. “Outrage culture is as strong as it is toxic.”
Malkovich also said comedy nowadays isn’t what it used to be. “Part of what makes it difficult is also the tidal wave of idiocy that can be created on social media in a day … the outrage mob.”
The actor’s comments echo those made by other comedians, including Jamie Foxx. The comedian recently defended “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon after he was ripped for appearing in blackface while impersonating Chris Rock for a 2000 sketch on “Saturday Night Live.” Said Foxx: “Let this one go.”
A slew of other comedians have also criticized the political correctness across the U.S. nowadays.
“I don’t play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges, they’re so PC,’” megastar Jerry Seinfeld said a few years back.
Rock also said he doesn’t do colleges anymore because they are “too conservative.”
“Not in their political views, but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody,” he explained. “You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.”
Comedians have for eons danced along the edge of what is appropriate, often crossing the line in an attempt to make people laugh and think. But that is changing amid the outage and cancel culture.
“The main problem with the present day inquisition squad is that many of our ‘open-minded’ watch guards are among our most close-minded citizens,” comedian Dennis Miller wrote in 2015.
Malkovich plays Dr. Adrian Mallory in “Space Force,” premiering Friday. The cast is headed up by “The Office” star Steve Carell as Gen. Mark Naird, in charge of running the newly created Space Force invented by an unnamed president during a flurry of posts on Twitter (sound familiar?).
“The surrounding cast of characters are disasters in their own right: F. Tony Scarapiducci (Ben Schwartz), the social media manager who speaks in memes and emojis, scientist Chen Kaifang (Jimmy O. Yang) and Naird’s wife (Lisa Kudrow) and daughter (Diana Silvers),” The News wrote.
“The comedy is full of 2020 references that live in today’s 15-minute news cycles, about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and allusions to midnight tweets that are forgotten by dawn.”
But Malkovich said the show is hopeful. “It’s about the possibilities of an unlikely directive to achieve a goal,” the actor said. “On a certain level, it’s about teamwork, a concept quite lost in this United States of America at present.”
And Naird does appear to be modeled after President Trump.
“Naird is not a science person,” Malkovich said. “ He doesn’t trust scientists because sometimes they say carbs are good for you and sometimes they say they’re bad. I’d say about 70% of the world agrees with him. Science suffers from a lot of blah blah and speculation.”
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