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Marlon Wayans is Disturbed by the Cancel Culture for Comedians

Comedian Marlon Wayans has a few words for social media trigger fingers

Marlon Wayans is on the press junket circuit promoting his upcoming film, Sextuplets, and Wayans recently spoke out against the "cancel culture" in comedy.

The cancel culture is when those who get amped up in a negative way about jokes and take to social media to start a petition to cancel the comedian. Wayans believes these very actions are leading to a “cancel culture” in comedy.

“Social media alerts the media, which then tells the message that everybody should be as sensitive about every topic, but that’s not true,” Wayans told BuzzFeed News' Twitter morning show, AM to DM. “Comedians, we’re supposed to speak our voice and we’re supposed to find what’s funny. That’s my job. It’s like telling a fireman, ‘You can’t go into that burning building.’ Well, how am I gonna save lives?”

“My job is to talk about all the things people are scared to say,” Wayans explained. “My job is to go into these dark topics and go in these dark caves and come out with this elixir called ‘the laugh.’”

 Question for you, Onika. You are a comedian, what are your thoughts about this recent phenomenon of comedians getting canceled that starts with a person who was offended by a joke and then creates a petition on social media to get the comedian canceled.

Jeffrey Epstein found dead in his cell; Marlon Wayans on the Cancel Culture | What’s The 411 Ep. 148

VIDEO CONVERSATION: Cassie is engaged to be married, what’s next for Diddy? Porsha Williams takes back Dennis McKinley

In this episode, the hosts, award-winning journalist, Kizzy Cox; comedian, Onika McLean, and; Keisha Wilson are talking about the death of Jeffrey Epstein; Wendy Williams considering friendship with her estranged husband, Kevin Hunter; Cassie Ventura's engagement to Alex Fine may be having an effect on Diddy, why else would he be dating Lori Harvey; RHOA's Porsha Williams and Dennis McKinley are engaged for a second time, and; Marlon Wayans has his say on the Cancel Culture in Comedy

Author Sighting: Dave Chappelle Is Comedy Under Attack, Says Author Carl Unegbu

Comedy at First Sight

First, let me give you a word about how I came to comedy. A friend who's also a talented publicist introduced me to comedy and comedians by way of New York City clubs. My introduction to live, in-your-face comedy (aka standup) through Gordon Balkcom, opened up a whole new world – and way of seeing. So, when Gordon told me that an attorney who's also a comedy blogger had a new book, I was in! The book is Comedy Under Attack (ComedyBeat Books, 2013), by Carl Unegbu, whom I met at his book signing, held at Sisters Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center.

Carl Unegbu: First Sighting @ Sisters Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center

Whenever I travel uptown to Sisters Uptown Bookstore, I find myself entering the warm embrace of an African village (or what I imagine is such). Sun-drenched even in the winter months, Sisters Uptown Bookstore's book-lined space is filled with books about and by authors from the Africa Diaspora, along with African art, drums, crafts, jewelry, large plush armchairs, and even a shrine for quiet contemplation.

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Exterior (left) and Inside Sister's Book Store & Cultural Center. Photo Credit: Sisters Uptown Bookstore & Culture Center

The children's literature area has kid-size table and chairs, easy-to-reach books and rotating shelves with palm-size books and strands of colorful lanyards. Its café offers smoothies, muffins, tea, coffee, and cold drinks. I can settle into a comfy armchair with a book -- or, as I did on June 28th -- I can laugh my head off when comedians performed at Carl Unegbu's book signing!

Truth be told, Comedy Under Attack is no laughing matter. According to Unegbu, comedy is hurting, and he points to two major culprits: Political correctness (how corporate big business gets to decide what is and isn't "acceptable comedy") and joke-stealing, which he believes has dealt a mighty blow to standup comedy. To showcase the first culprit, he points to comic genius Dave Chappelle, who walked away from $50 million rather than serve corporate interests (more on Chappelle, below). Despite those headwinds, Unegbu believes this is the Golden Age of Comedy, and cites comedian Louis CK as leading the way for future generations of comedians in how to deal with corporate America.

Carl Unegbu: Second Sighting @Book Culture, Upper Westside

The next time I see Carl Unegbu is five months later, on November 20th. He's introducing ComedyBeat's, Comedy Dialogue series, at Book Culture. The series tackles the latest issues confronting the comedy industry. We're treated to a spirited conversation with comedian/filmmaker Tom McCaffrey (producer of the upcoming movie, This is Comedy) and comedian/storyteller Rob Cantrell, maker of the new comedy music album, Dreams Never Die (you probably know him from Last Comic Standing and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn), among others.

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Carl Unegbu, author of Comedy Under Attack addressing an audience at Book Culture. Photo Credit: Luvon Roberson

Book Culture is a perfect fit for comedy – or anything that's a little off-kilter and quirky. It's a stone's throw from Columbia University and just steps from the world's largest gothic cathedral, St. John The Divine. I'm a longtime Book Culture fan, as much for its eclectic array of books, as for its one-of-a-kind writing desk. I think of that desk as magical. You'll have to visit and find out why!

My Favorite Author Quips & Snippets

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Carl Unegbu, author of Comedy Under Attack; with Sisters Uptown Bookstore Owner Janifer Wilson (center) and What's The 411TV Book Editor, Luvon Roberson (right). Photo Credit: Gordon Balkcom

Quips from Carl Unegbu, Author of Comedy Under Attack

"In a 2008 interview...[comedian David] Brenner said that comedy today is becoming run less like an art form and more like a business."

"Take the case of Dave Chappelle of Comedy Central's The Chappelle Show... This may be the only case in modern American show business in which an entertainer who was not insane walked away from the $50 million on the table and returned to the regular grind of the comedy club circuit."

"Chappelle reportedly said that his work on The Chappelle Show made him feel like a prostitute who was not doing things for the right reason.... Comedy Central's interest in Chappelle and his show clearly was not about his peace of mind or the best quality comedy he could produce. The network's interest obviously ran more to the money side of the equation."

BIO: Carl Unegbu

Carl Unegbu, author of Comedy Under Attack, is a lawyer and managing editor at He studied journalism at Columbia after graduating law school at the University of Miami. His articles have appeared in The Real Deal, Africa Journal, World Policy Journal, the Journal of International Arbitration, The New York Review of Magazines, Reuters Forum Journal, Leverage Magazine, and New York County Lawyer. Prior to his admission to the New York Bar, Carl practiced law in Miami and served as a law clerk at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris.

Chris Rock Checking Out the Brooklyn Nets and LeBron James

VIDEO: Talking with Chris Rock at the Barclays Center; he happened to attend a Brooklyn Nets game with his daughter because she loves LeBron James

Actor/comedian, Chris Rock, took a moment during half-time at the Brooklyn Nets – Miami Heat game on Friday to talk with What’s The 411SPORTS correspondent Crystal Lynn.

During NBA basketball season, Chris Rock is usually someplace else in New York City, but he brought his daughter to the Nets game because she loves LeBron James. It was the comedian’s first time in the Barclays Center and he likes it.

“I’m from Brooklyn,” Rock said in a matter of fact fashion.

With the chatter of a Brooklyn Nets – Miami Heat rivalry brewing, Rock chimed in saying he thinks it’s real.

“Oh, it’s for real, he said. “A lot of it came over from Boston really with Garnett and then Pierce, but I think it’s real. They’re going to play hard all year.”

“I wouldn’t be shocked if a brawl happens before the year is over,” laughed Rock in his comedic style.

Rock also offered his opinion on the Brooklyn Nets prospects for reaching the playoffs.

“I think they can go pretty far, it’s going to be hard to beat Miami, it’s going to be hard, Jason Terry’s old,” Rock said as if he was trying out new comedy material.

What’s in Chris Rock’s future?

“I’m getting ready to go on tour, I’m getting my stand up together, I’ll be playing this building in the fall,” he added.

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