Russell Peters may be one of the most successful comedians of his generation, but as a boy he was constantly bullied by his peers.
Today, 52-year-old Peters is known for his heartbreaking humor and rambunctious observations.
His willingness to share tough stories has helped him achieve fame, and he’s not looking back in our Cancel Culture era.
Far from there.
He recently defended his craft on Canadian television, lambasting those who want us to think exactly like them.
They are bullies, period.
Peters started the conversation by noting how his act changed over the years, an organic process that captured his personal and cultural growth.
“I can’t believe I said that in full conscience… I guess I thought it was funny at the time, but at the time it was funny,” he said, referring to the use of the F-word for a gay person as an example. “Your job is to push the boundaries, and then you understand that the envelope keeps moving away, but you’re constantly chasing the envelope, constantly chasing the line.”
The interviewer asked if he had any regrets about older material that he wouldn’t repeat today.
“Words are irrelevant. It’s all about intention,” he said. “We are free thinkers. As soon as you try to put the reins on our brains, you ruin the game.”
He also defended comedians for what some critics call “the normalization of stereotypes.”
Guilty of the charge, he said.
“We have been doing this since the beginning of time. If you watch old comedies, it’s always about stereotypes. The stereotype comes from somewhere real, and the comedian’s job is to inflate it to the point where it’s comedic.
Later, Peters described being bullied as an Indian child in Canada, an experience he says taught him something valuable.
The reprimands of culture are the new tyrants, and yet there are few attempts to call them out.
“I had a horrible childhood as far as [bullying], so when people try to bully me now, “you said this or you said that”, fuck you. First off, stop trying to act like I’m bullying when I know what real bullying looks like. We bully people into doing things we want them to do or thinking the way we want them to think. That’s not how it’s done.
“But for some reason the bully is being celebrated right now. It’s kind of crazy that we’re offended by everything,” he added.