Darren Knight bills himself as the “fastest rising comedian” in American history.
He got into comedy after his videos starring his alter ego, Southern Momma, went viral on social media. His popularity skyrocketed, and Variety named him one of the top ten comics to watch in 2018.
This allowed Knight to perform at Just For Laughs 2018, the world’s largest and most prestigious stand-up comedy festival. However, it was at this event that the comedian became embroiled in his career’s most heinous and contentious controversy when the audience refused to accept his views on sexual orientation and race.
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It was Strange To Be Booed for Saying He Wasn’t Going to Discuss Something
Knight received a lot of negative attention and lost a lot of fans as a result of the Just For Laughs incident. But he had an equally large number of devoted supporters who knew that how he was treated was unjust and that his statement contained some truth.
He spoke with Houston Press about his experience and thoughts on the 20. He stated that he would never beat up anyone because of their race or sexual orientation, and that being shunned by people who held opposing views was unjust.
“People in the audience paid to come see a show. They worked their ass off all week, the last thing they want to hear you whine… and I am not gonna do that. And every comedian before me that night had done that. I just did my bit and had a great time. But it was weird to sit there and say you’re not going to talk about something, and get booed for that. “
He is still adamant about keeping comedy away from serious subjects.
“We have so many celebrities that have an opinion on things, and I think that’s great. But when it comes down to show time, I don’t think that’s the platform to beat anyone up. I don’t think you should do a 20 minute segment beating up any particular race or for their sexual orientation or stuff like that.”
Knight is also said to have few friends in the comedy community due to his outspoken opinions, which frequently land him in hot water.
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Knight Believes That Comedy Should Not be Based on Sexual Orientation or Race
When Knight took the stage at Just For Laughs, he probably expected the audience to be blown away by his act. However, he received a lot of backlash for saying that comedy should not be about sexual orientation or race. He was even booed off the stage for criticizing other acts for using their time slots to discuss issues such as race and gender politics.
“Comedy’s not about race or sexism – people come here to laugh.”
The entire event went viral on Twitter. For what he said, he was labeled a racist and a homophobe. Despite the pressure from cancel culture, the comic did not back down and stood by his words.
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VICE News later covered the event, and Knight gave his side of the story.
He clarified that the true quality required of a comic was to be funny. “It doesn’t matter who is straight on stage,” he said. It makes no difference who is gay on stage. It makes no difference who is white on stage. It makes no difference whether the people on stage are black, Latino, or Asian. That shouldn’t be an issue.”
When asked what was important, Knight replied, “If you’re a comedian, being funny.” If you’re a contractor, make something that won’t fall on someone’s head. It’s not my job as a comedian to single out anyone.”