Does Judd Apatow Deserve to Be Cancelled?

Article by Mandy Stadtmiller

Anyway, I kept waiting for the Apatow takedown to come. And it never did. As I read about behavioral contract agreements emerging in comedy clubs and saw a club owner who put Louis C.K. up for a spot get threats of fire-bombing and hurting his children, I realized that this takedown quest was part of my own weasel-y little Hero’s Journey.

I’ve written a separate piece about the increasing despair I’ve felt these past few years, sussing out the growing hysteria around comedy and free speech and media manipulation (and how Apatow uses it), but this is just a video description. So here it is. A description of the video I made with the hashtag #TimesUp. Because his time is up. Get it?

I did the usual journalistic tricks (search “name” + “accuser,” search “name” + “controversy,” search “name” + “dragged”) and came up with a few things that surprised me.

On a scale of 1 to James O’Keefe, this video is a 3 in terms of deceptive editing and applying a scary-music copyright-free YouTube track to ancient stand-up where Apatow jokes about wanting to fuck his stepfamily, saying he’s a sexist not a racist, making a joke about going on a shooting spree (I’m so with you on that one, Judd, one of my favorite gallows humor go-to’s), and all manner of material that is not fit for pristine 2019 ears.

There were some things that really did surprise me in this Apatow Vision Quest I’ve undergone this past month.

I realize it was a joke when he said to Jon Stewart that he enjoyed getting actors to show their dicks. (I almost wrote “young actors” and realized I’d be given a pants-on-fire rating by the Washington Post for that! “It’s more complicated…”).

But I also did uncover what is clearly a preoccupation with dicks.

Talking to other actors about showing theirs, showing his own on film for an agonizing ten seconds (there’s nothing revolting about Apatow’s penis, but I don’t want strangers masturbating in front of me, either… it’s annoying and gross), and in one riveting scene, propositioning the gorgeous and wicked Andrew Rannells (who I believe is one of the funniest actors alive) to do a nude scene on Girls after discussing something completely different on a Paley Center panel.

It’s odd. It’s like the friend who you’re going on to about something for an hour and a half, and then she busts out with, ‘So I really think the fact that he used four i’s in this ‘Hi’ text means that he wants to have a relationship.’” She was never listening. She had something else on her mind the whole damned time.

I don’t really think Judd Apatow should be “cancel culture”-d by any means, but I’ll tell you one thing. By Apatow’s standards, he surely does.