Gilbert Gottfried Says He’s “Sentimental About Old-Time Lynch Mobs”

The comedian made the comment in a promo for Fox Nation's "Canceled in the USA"

Gilbert Gottfried
Gilbert Gottfried hosts "Amazing Colossal Show" on Comedy Greats at SiriusXM Studios on February 03, 2020 in New York City.
Getty Images for SiriusXM

These days it seems that not a day goes by without another comedian complaining about “cancel culture,” but this latest example — from Gilbert Gottfried, in a promo for a Fox Nation streaming show that aired on Fox News Monday morning — takes it to an embarrassing new level, with the comic stating that he’s “sentimental about old-time lynch mobs.”

“When I hear about another person getting in trouble now, I always think, ‘Oh, thank God them and not me.’ Cause I’ve been through it a few times,” Gottfried said in the promo for host Dan Bongino’s new show Canceled in the USA. Gottfied lost his gig as the voice of the Aflac duck in March of 2011 after he made a series of tasteless jokes about the deadly Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Some of Gottfried’s jokes about the disaster — which killed 19,747 people and injured 6,242 — included “I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘There’ll be another one floating by any minute now’” and “Japan called me. They said ‘maybe those jokes are a hit in the US, but over here, they’re all sinking.’” Aflac does 75% of its business in Japan.

“The internet makes me feel sentimental about old time lynch mobs,” Gottfried continued in the Canceled in the USA promo. “At least lynch mobs, they had to put their shoes on, go out, get their hands dirty and deal with other people. Now you sit in your underwear on your couch, there with your phone … and you have a lynching there.”

This should absolutely go without saying, but likening people facing consequences for their actions (like, say, losing their job for tweeting lame jokes about a natural disaster that killed thousands of people in the country where their employer happens to do three-quarters of their business) to countless innocent Black people being hunted down and murdered simply for being Black is vile. Even if Gottfried was kidding, it’s an insane comparison to make. A person in their underwear tweeting from their couch about how they thought your joke was out of line is not a “lynching,” and to imply — even jokingly — that it’s at all similar to a mob of racists committing a despicable hate crime is beyond the pale. The irony here is, of course, that Gottfried could very well likely find himself “canceled” again soon thanks to these latest remarks.

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