My Celebrity Life

Rowan Atkinson fearful of ‘cancel culture’ future as he likens it to ‘medieval mob’

Mr Bean star Rowan Atkinson has voiced his fears of a future with so-called cancel culture in existence.

He’s joined a cast of stars, including Ricky Gervais, Katherine Ryan and Matthew McConaughey who have lamented the so-called ‘cancelling’ of people (such as calling for them to lose jobs) based on them having done or said something considered objectionable or offensive.

Speaking to Radio Times in a lengthy interview, Rowan – who recently said he doesn’t enjoy playing his iconic character Mr Bean – said there was an issue with people being presented with a ‘binary’ view of society, that placed two parties against one another.

To him, he felt fearful of the future if it didn’t involve a wide range of opinions – with any opinion that went against the ‘mob’ to equal said ostracism.

He said: ‘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. It becomes a case of either you’re with us or against us. And if you’re against us, you deserve to be “canceled”.

‘It’s important that we’re exposed to a wide spectrum of opinion, but what we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn.

My Celebrity Life –
Ricky Gervais has also called out cancel culture (Picture: REX)

‘So it is scary for anyone who’s a victim of that mob and it fills me with fear about the future.’

The star is hardly the first to worry about the effect of ‘cancel culture’ on society, with The Duchess star Katherine saying it doesn’t offer progress.

The comedian previously said to Radio Times: ‘I am definitely anti-cancel culture and I think it can be very damaging and totally lacking of context and nuance.

‘Sometimes it’s appropriate for someone to lose their career, of course.

‘Cancel Harvey Weinstein – love it, great, not a moment too soon. But this holier-than-thou, very judgmental search for exposing or cancelling someone doesn’t offer progress, there’s no room for conversation or evolution there.’

Dallas Buyer’s Club’s Matthew also weighed in on the debate during an appearance on Good Morning Britain last year.

‘There are extremes on both sides that I think are unfair, that I don’t think are the right place to be,’ he said. ‘The extreme left and the extreme right completely illegitimise the other side. The liberal and the conservative side… or they exaggerate that side’s stance into an irrational state and that’s not fair when either side does that.’

He added: ‘Where the waterline’s gonna land on this freedom of speech and what we allow and what we don’t on this cancel culture… is a very interesting place in society trying to figure out because we haven’t found the right spot.’

Comedian Ricky Gervais has also been drawn on the idea, telling Metro: ‘Everyone’s got a different definition of cancel culture.

‘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.’


Credit: Original article published here.

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