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    Julia-Louis Dreyfus calls political correctness in comedy ‘fantastic’

    Julia-Louis Dreyfus doesn’t buy the idea that political correctness is a threat to comedy.

    The Seinfeld alum has weighed in on the controversial topic, insisting this particular evolution in comedy is not just positive — it’s “fantastic.”

    “If you look back on comedy and drama both, let’s say 30 years ago, through the lens of today, you might find bits and pieces that don’t age well,” Dreyfus said in an interview with The New York Times for her latest film, Tuesday. “And I think to have an antenna about sensitivities is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean that all comedy goes out the window as a result.”

    She added, “When I hear people starting to complain about political correctness — and I understand why people might push back on it — but to me that’s a red flag, because it sometimes means something else. I believe being aware of certain sensitivities is not a bad thing. I don’t know how else to say it.”

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

    Santiago Felipe/Getty


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    Dreyfus is far from the first comedian to address the subject. Many of her contemporaries have slammed the existence of political correctness and the impact “cancel culture” has on creatives. Weeks ago, Dreyfus’ former costar Jerry Seinfeld made headlines for sharing his belief that PC culture is harming TV comedies.

    “It used to be, you would get home at the end of the day and most people would say, ‘Oh, Cheers is on. MASH is on. Mary Tyler Moore is on. All in the Family is on,'” he said during an appearance on The New Yorker Radio Hour podcast. “You just expected, ‘There’ll be some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight.’ Well, guess what? Where is it? This is the result of the extreme left, and PC crap, and people worrying so much about offending other people.”

    Though she did not directly address Seinfeld’s comments in her Times interview, Dreyfus made it clear that she feels differently.

    “My feeling about all of it is that political correctness, insofar as it equates to tolerance, is obviously fantastic,” said the 63-year-old actress. “And of course I reserve the right to boo anyone who says anything that offends me, while also respecting their right to free speech.”

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jerry Seinfeld.

    Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage


    She went on to argue that the “true threat to art and the creation of art” isn’t PC backlash, but “the consolidation of money and power.”

    “All this siloing of studios and outlets and streamers and distributors — I don’t think it’s good for the creative voice,” she said. “So that’s what I want to say in terms of the threat to art.”

    As for whether comedy is better or worse now that comedians are well attuned to the potential for backlash, Dreyfus could not say.

    “I can’t judge if it’s better or not,” she said. “I just know that the lens through which we create art today — and I’m not going to just specify it to comedy, it’s also drama — it’s a different lens. It really is. Even classically wonderful, indisputably great films from the past are riddled with attitudes that today would not be acceptable. So I think it’s just good to be vigilant.”

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