Louis C.K. And Dave Chappelle Getting Grammy Nominations Is Making People Wonder If Maybe ‘Cancel Culture’ Isn’t Real

It’s become fashionable, even profitable, to come out against what is known as “cancel culture.” Opponents to this practice, whose very existence is debatable, claim people, usually young progressives, destroy the lives of those who say or do things they problematic. Others argue it’s a fiction, invented by culture warlords to protect those who don’t want their controversial views called into question. So when Dave Chappelle, under fire for anti-trans comments, and Louis C.K., who confessed to multiple cases of sexual misconduct in 2017, wound up with Grammy nominations on Tuesday, some wondered if “cancel culture” was perhaps not as powerful, or as real, as some have claimed.

C.K., who’s been playing big shows again, wound up fêted with a Best Comedy Album nom for Sincerely Louis C.K. Meanwhile, fellow comic Chappelle received a nom not for comedy but for Best Spoken Word Album, for 8:46, which he released mid-pandemic, and which addressed the murder of George Floyd. That means he’ll be competing against no less than Barack Obama, for A Promised Land.

The two weren’t the only “cancelled” artists who wound up with Grammy nominations. Marilyn Manson, who’s facing sexual assault lawsuits from several women, wound up recognized for his work on Kanye West’s Donda. Kevin Hart, whose homophobic comments led to him withdrawing as host of the 2019 Oscars, will compete with C.K. for the comedy album Zero F***s Given.

Chappelle has not apologized for his anti-trans comments, which he’s made across numerous specials for Netflix. After his most recent controversial special, The Closer, dropped, he even told a roaring crowd, “If this is what being canceled is like, I love it.” Perhaps it was a joke on how “cancel culture” isn’t real, that it doesn’t destroy lives but make them stronger. Or perhaps he was just reveling in his infamy.

But when word broke out that C.K., Chappelle and other “cancelled” artists were being celebrated by a major awards body, some people on social media wondered if “cancel culture” was just a bunch of BS.

Some wondered why Chappelle was nominated but not Bo Burnham’s acclaimed Inside.

Others pointed to another “cancelled” celebrity who recently revealed good career news: alleged Lethal Weapon 5 director Mel Gibson.