Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired North American rights to Ted Balaker’s “outrage culture” documentary Can We Take a Joke?, with a limited theatrical release set for late summer and a wider digital release to follow. The film examines the outrage — faux and otherwise — that erupts on social media time and again, with a particular focus on how “outrage culture” impacts comedy.
Narrated by comedian Christina Pazsitzky, Joke includes interviews with Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli, Adam Carolla, Jim Norton and Heather McDonald.
“We at Samuel Goldwyn Films are outraged that the outrage has gotten this far,” said a probably not entirely outraged Peter Goldwyn, President of Samuel Goldwyn Films, “and are thrilled to work with Ted Balaker on his eye-opening and profound film on how free speech is under siege, not just in the comedic world but in all facets of life.”
Filmmaker Balaker states: “I’m thrilled that Samuel Goldwyn Films will be our distributor. The timing is a bit surreal because it is the 50th anniversary of the death of Lenny Bruce, the godfather of stand-up comedy and hero of our film; in our age of instant outrage and kneejerk censorship, we need Lenny’s influence now more than ever.”
Balaker’s Can We Take a Joke? is presented by the DKT Liberty Project in association with Reason TV, produced by Courtney Balaker and Ted Balaker, co-produced by Zach Weissmueller, Steven Andrus and Melanie Miller, executive produced by Phil Harvey, AC Bushnell, and Greg Lukianoff.
The deal was negotiated by Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films and producers’ representative Noor Ahmed of Reder and Feig, and attorney Dean Cheley of Donaldson and Callif on behalf of the filmmakers.
Can We Take A Joke? premiered at DOC NYC in November. A special week-long run on college campuses starts April 13. The college week will be hosted by Balaker’s Korchula Productions, in conjunction with TUGG and New Balloon, and in partnership with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and Young Americans for Liberty,