Last year, the cancel mob came out in force after Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special The Closer. Failing to realize that comedians are the canaries in the coal mine regarding the tyranny of organized power, virtue-signaling trolls called for Netflix to drop Chappelle and even convinced his high school to temporarily cancel plans to name its theater after him (they ultimately relented).
After the dust settled, people had to resort to attacking Chappelle for helping to quash an affordable housing project near where he lives. Lost in all the noise, the comedian survives and thrives despite all the attacks because he has a gigantic platform to stand on. Not Netflix, mind you, but he stands on the shoulders of all his fans. The streaming platform admits that Chappelle’s specials are its most-watched comedy shows ever.
His critics fail to realize that Chappelle is only as vulnerable as his fan base allows him to be. Regardless of what he says in his act if the people keep watching his specials Netflix will keep giving him money. Case in point, the streaming service just announced more content for Chappelle.
This year, would-be censors learned the same lesson when they tried to cancel Joe Rogan because of his COVID interviews that did not fit the narrative. Aging singer Neil Young threw down the gauntlet and said it was either him or Rogan on Spotify. Young’s music was politely removed. Why? For the same reason that Chappelle prevailed. Numbers.
Spotify paid Rogan well over 100 million dollars because he gets roughly 11 million listeners per podcast. Those numbers dwarf some mainstream media channels that squawk about Rogan spreading misinformation. Each episode of the Joe Rogan Experience is routinely three hours long, which provides many opportunities for Spotify to recoup its investment in advertising dollars. Regardless of how many times the platform says the ‘right’ things in press releases, its actions show it will stand by its man.
Chappelle and Rogan both show that the best cancellation insurance anyone can have is a loyal following. If only all of us mortals could have such a luxury.