The comedian has already had a couple of close calls after sparking Ofcom complaints over jokes and a backlash over a casting – but fears one of his stand up lines will cancel his career in the future
Jack Whitehall fears he will see his career ended by a past joke as he opens up about his fears over cancel culture.
The 33-year-old comedian has been involved in a couple of controversies in recent years as his jokes have backfired and he has been ‘miscast’ in roles.
But the star – who works as a stand up as well as an actor and presenter – worries sensitive audiences in the future will get upset by one of his current jokes.
Jack opened up about his fears explaining his nervousness about cancel culture which sees people ruined over past mistakes or opinions that fall out of favour.
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He explained to The Sun: “I feel like I’ve definitely said jokes in the past that would be worthy of cancellation. I guess it’s how you weather that storm if it does ever come up.
“I’ve had it, sort of, occur a few times and I think, maybe, people are a little better now. We’ve had a few of these ridiculous cancellations of people because of historic jokes that — especially with a comedian because it was told in jest and the context of it was only ever intended as a joke — that you do tend to get away with it a little bit more.
“More so than you might with a tweet or a comment in an interview.”
Back in 2019, Jack sparked dozens of complaints to Ofcom when he made an X-rated joked about Little Mix performing at the Brit Awards.
The star quipped after the ladies performed Women Like Me on the award’s show stage: “Dads up and down the country awkwardly fumbling for a scatter cushion right now.”
Reports revealed that 25 viewers complained to the TV regulator about the comment.
And back in 2018, there was a massive backlash against the actor – who is heterosexual – when he was cast as the first openly gay Disney character in a film.
The actor was cast as MacGregor Houghton in the comedy adventure film Jungle Cruise – with the character described as: “hugely effete, very camp and very funny”.
One film fan tweeted at the time of his casting announcement to declare: “Really @Disney #JungleCruise ? Your first significant gay role will be played by a straight white man perpetuating stereotypes? Fail! This ship should sink.”
However, openly gay actor Stephen Fry defended Jack, tweeting: “I share your shame @jackwhitehall – I played a straight man more than once. A FATHER even. I should have been sent for training, correction and adjustment years ago.”
Meanwhile Jack’s current comments about being cancelled for past jokes echoes similar fears by fellow comedian Jimmy Carr.
He too believes his ‘cancellable’ joke has already been told.
He said previously: “The joke that cancels me is out there already. It is on YouTube somewhere and it is perfectly acceptable until one day it isn’t. There is not a damn thing I can do about it. Let the cards fall where they may.”