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Filmmaker Joe Carnahan Defies Cancel Culture: ‘Piss Off the Uptight People. We’re Getting Too Sanctimonious’

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 22: Producer Joe Carnahan at the Netflix Films Wheelman Premier at Fantastic Fest at the Alamo Drafthouse on September 22, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Netflix)
Rick Kern/Getty Images for Netflix

Director Joe Carnahan says politically incorrect moments like in his new film Boss Level are necessary to “piss off the uptight people” who are making the modern world “a little too sanctimonious.”

“If we stop pissing off those people, we’re going to lose the battle altogether. We got to piss off the uptight people. We’re getting a little too sanctimonious and secular in our thought process, and that’s troublesome,” Carnahan (pictured) said in a recent interview with SlashFilm.

The director was asked about off-color political comments in the dialogue of his newly-released action film.

The interviewer stated: “I know you don’t want to get political, but admittedly, I did get a laugh from the line, ‘Fucking liberals.’”

“Fucking liberals, yeah. I thought it was great,” Carnahan answered, adding that he enjoyed several different “jabs” in the film.

“I just thought it was funny these little fleeting jabs, I thought were great,” Carnahan said.

The director, known for The A-Team and The Grey, also defended his casting of Mel Gibson as Boss Level‘s villain. The interviewer describes Gibson as “polarizing,” alluding to his history of substance abuse and several racist remarks made during what the actor-director has described as “the height of a breakdown.” The blogger asks Carnahan: “Do you have to consider how some audiences perceive him in a role or movie?”

The director emphatically rejected the invitation to cancel his collaborator and rhetorically asked how much “blood” is required for his forgiveness:

Listen, I believe in redemption. I believe in forgiveness. I believe in all these things. I think that the guy has done nothing but good things in the last ten years. I think if we’re going to hold on to these types of things, we can’t really preach this idea of truly forgiving someone. Listen, I would want that for anyone, no matter the situation.

I thought that Mel was very upfront with me about everything, and was very contrite and solemn. I just thought, “Okay, what do you want from this guy? What do you want, blood? What do you expect him to do?” other than what he’s done, which is leading an exemplary life. He’s put that business behind him. Again, “Those without sin, cast the first stone.”

I’ll leave it at Mel was a joy. We’re either going to embrace this notion of redemption and forgiveness, or we’re going to be hypocritical. American society, in particular, excels at the latter. So, let’s knock that shit off, and really give people their due, and their second chance, and their redemptive gesture.

Boss Level premiered over the weekend on Hulu.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.