After making comments in 2011 that some said were anti-gay, Adam Carolla came under fire from a number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media watchdog groups.
Now the comedian has continued his diatribe about gays and political correctness in an interview with Salon, where he claimed that the gay mafia is a reality. “If you can’t work with gay people, you’re gonna have a difficult time in Hollywood,” he said in the Q&A.
The source of the original outcry was an August 2011 rant that included commentary on gay marriage stemming from Sesame Street‘s Bert and Ernie gay controversy, in which Carolla said gay people should “get married and shut up.” He also apparently said that LGBT people should just call themselves “Yuck,” then ended the tirade with a question: “When did we start giving a shit about these [transgender] people?” His subsequent apology and claim that he is “a comedian, not a politician” left watchdog groups like GLAAD wanting more.
In his latest interview, Carolla said an increased sensitivity in our culture has made it harder to be a comic: “They may mean it half the time, but they’re still making jokes, why are they held to the same standard as statesmen?”
When asked by Salon if he is anti-gay, Carolla replied: “You can’t live in Hollywood and get along in this business and be in theater companies and improv companies and have issues with gay people. My last movie I did was a boxing movie called The Hammer, and the director [Charles Herman-Wurmfeld] was gay. If you can’t work with gay people, you’re gonna have a difficult time in Hollywood. There’s plenty of gay people, and they’re in positions above you. You’re not going to get your movie directed.
“I don’t have a problem with it — they’ve just turned into a mafia and demanding everyone apologize for every joke and retract every statement.
“It’s turned into something that’s bigger than it is. I’ve lived in this town my whole life and never seen it like this. There’s been comedians telling jokes, but no overt gay-bashing crimes.” Carolla added that the topic of gay marriage is addressed in his new book, President Me: The America That’s in My Head. “In the book, what I say about the gay community is that someone sent me ‘the top 10 reasons gays should marry.’ One: They’re American. Two: They pay taxes. Three through five: So they can shut the f— up.”
When asked whether he felt an obligation to help underrepresented comics, Carolla was rather matter-of-fact about why he didn’t. “You’re presuming I got lifted up the ladder,” he said. “I don’t feel the need to lift anyone up. If they’re funny, I’ll give them a shot. If they’re not, I won’t. But I don’t have quotas to fill. I’m fine with the notion that there are genders and races that lean more to comedy — where are the Asian comedians? Maybe there just aren’t any!”
Carolla was also vocal about “systemic disadvantages” for people who are non-white. “I would go ahead and say: The Asians beat the rigged system and did better than white people,” he said. “You don’t think that’d be something to look into? Do you think we decided to rig the system against certain ethnicities?”
He added: “That’s the world, that’s how it’s always been.”