Jamie Foxx’s debut outing as a filmmaker seems to have been indefinitely put on hold due to growing sensitivity surrounding comedy content.
One of the big stories emerging from Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival this week was the unusual cancellation of Jerry Sadowitz’s show due to what has been dubbed by the organisers as ‘extreme racism, sexism, homophobia and misogyny’. The cancellation of the comedian’s act has once again thrown into sharp relief the current sensitivities and debate around the ‘right’ of comedians to say whatever they want and is being described by some as something of a ‘watershed moment for comedy.’
The same debate extends to Hollywood comedies too, with Jamie Foxx’s directorial debut, All-Star Weekend, struggling to find a distributor despite reportedly being finished all the way back in 2019. What’s more, the film isn’t shy of talent either. Foxx also appears in front of the camera alongside Jeremy Piven along with Eva Longoria, Gerard Butler, Benicio del Toro, Ken Jeong, Jessica Szohr, DJ Khaled, French Montana, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Snoop Dogg, and even Robert Downey Jr, who is said to make ‘a special appearance as a Mexican man.’
However, despite boasting all of those star names, it seems like the comedic tone of All-Star Weekend may just be too provocative for studios to risk at the moment, as there are seemingly no plans for the film to be released. Foxx, who is currently doing the press rounds for his Netflix vampire-hunting movie, Day Shift, had this to say about All-Star Weekend…
“Man, it’s been tough, with the lay of the land when it comes to comedy, man. We’re trying to break open those sensitive corners where people go back to laughing again. And that’s why I think, even in this film [Day Shift], which is great is [that] the one thing we kept hearing in the screenings was how much people were laughing. So, hopefully we’ll keep them laughing and run them into All-Star Weekend, because we were definitely going for it.”
So, the prognosis for All-Star Weekend doesn’t look particularly good and without seeing the film, it’s very difficult to pass comment as to whether studios are being overly sensitive here or if perhaps Foxx and his collaborators may have overstepped the mark. What is for sure is that the film will continue to remain in limbo as the debate surrounding comedy’s right to shock and provoke will continue to rumble. Should it ever see the light of day, the saga leading it up to its release is likely to spawn strong opinions from all quarters, meaning Foxx’s artistic intentions will likely be caught up in a wider and hotly-contested cultural debate.
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