'Mr. Bean' Star Rowan Atkinson Compares Cancel Culture to a 'Medieval Mob Looking for Someone to Burn'
British actor Rowan Atkinson veered from the leftist views embraced by the bulk of those in the entertainment industry and ripped into cancel culture, describing it as the “digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn.”
“The problem we have online is that an algorithm decides what we want to see, which ends up creating a simplistic, binary view of society,” the Mr. Bean actor said in an interview with the U.K.’s Radio Times. “It becomes a case of either you’re with us or against us. And if you’re against us, you deserve to be ‘canceled.’”
The Johnny English star emphasized that it is crucial for society to be “exposed to a wide spectrum of opinion” but concluded that, at this point, “we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn.”
“So it is scary for anyone who’s a victim of that mob and it fills me with fear about the future,” he added.Atkinson is not the only British star to take issue with the prevalence and impact of cancel culture in modern society. Ricky Gervais, creator of The Office, frequently crusades against the speech crushing phenomenon.
“If it is choosing not to watch a comedian because you don’t like them, that’s everyone’s right. But when people are trying to get someone fired because they don’t like their opinion about something that’s nothing to do with their job, that’s what I call cancel culture, and that’s not cool,” Gervais said in an August interview with The Metro.
“You turning off your own TV isn’t censorship,” Gervais said, explaining the difference. “You trying to get other people to turn off their TV because you don’t like something they’re watching, that’s different.”
Earlier last year, Gervais spoke out against the rise of political correctness-turned cancel culture, describing it as a “weird sort of fascism of people thinking they know what you can say and what you can’t.”
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling stands as one of the most recent victims of cancel culture following her outspoken views on the negative impact transgender ideology has on women across the globe. In September, Twitter allowed #RIPJKRowling to trend despite the fact that the famed author was not deceased. The trend purportedly stemmed from outrage over one of her latest books, which features a transvestite serial killer.
The cancel culture mob came after her in vehement fashion, accusing her, again, of being “transphobic,” as they have for months due to her refusal to deny the reality of biological sex.
Rowling is one of over one hundred writers and academics who signed an open letter calling for the end of cancel culture last summer.