Paul Schrader, the critically acclaimed screenwriter and film director, attacked the PC trend of “wokeness,” calling it “infectious” and comparing it to the coronavirus Delta strain. Schrader, who directed American Gigolo, Affliction, and First Reformed and penned Taxi Driver and The Last Temptation of Christ, says that “cancel culture” has produced an environment of terror even between friends.
“Cancel culture is so infectious, it’s like the Delta virus,” he said in a recent interview with Deadline. “If your friend says, ‘they’re saying these terrible things about me that aren’t true’, you’re afraid to come to their defense, because you might catch that virus too.”
“I think I’ve been fairly honest and upfront, kept my hands to myself,” he continued. “Blue Collar was full of it, but that was when Richard Pryor’s act was that way. He later decided not to use the word anymore because he felt it was counterproductive. When you see these things, you have to think about them in context.” Noting that his 1978 movie Blue Collar, starring Richard Pryor, used the n-word.
In the interview, Schrader also dissed the Academy Awards, calling the annual ceremony “broken.” The filmmaker was promoting his next picture The Card Counter, which stars Oscar Isaac and will premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival.