Actor Emile Hirsch is set to star in My Time’s Up, an upcoming drama by filmmaker Michael MacRae. According to Deadline, the film will star Hirsch as Micky Hoffman, a fictional stand-up comic who moves back to his Midwest hometown after receiving some backlash (or “canceled,” in the parlance of our times). Once there, he mentors some younger comics, described as “woke.” This will be MacRae’s second feature-length film after 2018’s Fishbowl California, and he is both writing and directing My Time’s Up. In addition to starring as lead in the film, Emile Hirsch is executive producing along with co-star Max Adler (of Glee and The Trial of the Chicago 7). Adler also previously appear in Fishbowl California.
Emile Hirsch’s new film seems to be taking on the very broad and controversial subject matter of so-called “cancel culture.” It is as of yet unknown what particular perspective (if any) the film will bring to the idea that people being “canceled” for various criminal acts, suspicion of criminal acts, publically stated political or social opinions, and/or behavior considered unacceptable by some segment of society. The presumption is that this “cancellation” then affects an individual’s life, career, or future prospects in a way that is disproportionate to the actions that have caused said effects. The concept of cancel culture is a hotly debated one, with all sides of the political spectrum accusing it of being weaponized by the others. Some pundits and historians claim it is damaging to social discourse (such as we have one), while others call it the natural result of socially abhorrent behavior to those unused to consequences, and others question its existence at all.
Cancel culture is a subject matter familiar to Emile Hirsch. In 2015, the actor was charged with attacking Paramount Pictures executive Daniele Bernfeld in a Utah nightclub. He pled guilty to misdemeanor assault, receiving 15 days of jail time, a monetary fine, probation, and a period of community service. Hirsch also entered rehab around this time; part of his guilty plea had involved his claim that he did not remember the attack and was on a mixture of stimulants and alcohol at the time. Prior to this, Emile Hirsch had been a well-regarded film star, appearing in a series of highly-acclaimed indie films like 2013’s Prince Avalanche with Paul Rudd and 2005’s Lords of Dogtown. He also appeared in the occasional wide-release film like the Wachowski’s high concept flop Speed Racer. Hirsch is most recognized for starring as Christopher McCandless (a would-be survivalist who died in the Alaska wilderness in 1992) in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild.
After his conviction, Emile Hirsch worked in less high-profile movies and could theoretically be thought to have been “canceled.” However, since 2015, he has appeared in 19 different movies and currently has four films in production (not including My Time’s Up), which hardly seems like a devastating career cancellation. Nonetheless, it is difficult to not think that Emile Hirsch may have some personal interest in the subject matter of this film.