Former Philadelphia 76ers star Charles Barkley has to table the fat jokes, thanks to heightened social sensitivities and looming cancel culture.
“They won’t even let me talk about San Antonio anymore! You know, when I’m always talking about them big ol’ women down in San Antonio?” Barkley told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Monday’s “Grant and Danny” show on 106.7 The Fan. The comments came after Turner Network Television (TNT), Barkley’s network, put a stop to his jokes about San Antonio women, he said.
Barkley has been criticized for making jokes about overweight women in San Antonio in the past. To be fair, San Antonio was ranked among the fattest cities in the U.S., and Barkley routinely makes jokes about his own weight as well. But as he pointed out on Monday, Barkley hasn’t called anyone personally fat. Nevertheless, TNT has stifled Barkley’s jokes, to create a more “mindful” presence on the show.
“They’re coming for your head, and a lot of our bosses are cowards,” Barkley said. “I said, ‘Context matters.’ They’re like, ‘Context doesn’t matter.’ I said, ‘That’s total B.S. Context always has to matter.’ But now, if you crack a joke the wrong way, they’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no. You crossed a line.’”
Barkley has a long track record of being a controversial yet hilarious figure. The NBA analyst regularly makes jokes about women, health, medical conditions, and more — jokes that cancel culture usually viciously attacks. According to Barkley, he has to watch what he says, or else.
“That’s all we ever talk about behind the scenes now, like, be careful of going in this direction,” Barkley said. “I’m like, yo man, we can’t even have fun anymore. We’ve had fun all these years and now all of a sudden in the last year and a half everybody is trying to get everybody fired and it really sucks.”
In 58-year-old Barkley’s many years of unfiltered controversial comments, he’s never been canceled. But the pressure from “politically correct people” and the cancel culture mob could ruin his “NBA on TNT” show by stripping the fun from it.
“You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackasses trying to get you canceled and things like that,” Barkley said. “I’m trying to hang on for another couple years until I’m 60 and then they can kiss my ass.”