Actor Bryan Cranston has this week expressed his fears over "cancel culture" and what it means for the future of free speech...
And, as you'd expect from the actor, he didn't hold back.
Now, the so-called cancel-culture has been dominating the virtual world as of late.Traditionally, the term "canceled" means to "dismiss something", or to "reject an individual or an idea", as per Dictionary.
But, in the last year or so, the act of "canceling" has taken on a whole new meaning entirely.Canceling someone - whether it be rejecting them, ignoring them, publicly opposing their views or actions, or depriving them of time and attention - has become the go-to tactic for disgruntled and offended internet-goers.
Celebrities and public figures are the most common targets of this new cancel-culture.Perhaps the most memorable example is the previously-beloved mastermind behind the Harry Potter franchise, J.K Rowling, who was savagely "canceled" after expressing her views on women and gender.
In June last year, the author shared a link to an article titled: "Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate."
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? W… https://t.co/JEQbzYBS9O— J.K. Rowling (@J.K. Rowling)1591479351.0
The backlash was astounding...And, almost instantly, the internet was alight with allegations of transphobia and even some calls for Rowling and the Harry Potter franchise to be canceled and boycotted entirely.
Another high-profile figure to face the wrath of cancel culture recently was Ivanka Trump.Amid President Trump's controversial response to the BLM protests last summer, his daughter was hastily dropped by Wichita State University Tech in Kansas just hours after it had been revealed she would be giving a speech to its students.
Obviously, Ivanka was furious with the decision...
Our nation’s campuses should be bastions of free speech. Cancel culture and viewpoint discrimination are antithetic… https://t.co/OFe9lZwV5Y— Ivanka Trump (@Ivanka Trump)1591398793.0
So, as you can see from these examples alone...
Cancel culture mentality: “I don’t like this person, therefor I’m going to dig up every bad thing they’ve done, and… https://t.co/irqEyHSMh2— lar 🎟 cancelled era atm (@lar 🎟 cancelled era atm)1609651781.0
In recent months, more and more people have been speaking out against cancel culture...
I hate this cancel culture. It’s bullying.— Debbie Larry-Izamoje (@Debbie Larry-Izamoje)1609788525.0
Of course, celebrities have been at the forefront of this fight against cancelation.An open letter to Harper’s Magazine in July last year was signed by more than 150 prominent authors and journalists, including J.K Rowling, Salman Rushdie, and Margaret Atwood, decrying what they see as a loss of open debate and tolerance as a result of cancel-culture.
Even former POTUS, Barack Obama, who is famously left-wing, has called out cancel-culture.
Well said, @BarackObama. Former president calls out woke cancel culture. https://t.co/7gDMrGkrve— Clay Travis (@Clay Travis)1572410576.0
And, just last week...
Mr. Bean star, Rowan Atkinson also spoke out on the subject.
When asked about his thoughts on cancel-culture...He didn't hesitate in expressing his distaste.
He compared online cancelers as a "medieval mob."“But what we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn."
“It becomes a case of either you’re with us or against us. And if you’re against us, you deserve to be ‘canceled’."He then acknowledged that the overwhelming popularity of Mr. Bean may be down to the character - who is mostly mute - being verbally unable to offend those with “greater sensitivities."
And now, another star has added his voice to the mix.
Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston, is the latest to offer his viewpoint on cancel culture.
He spoke out against the phenomenon this week.
"We live in this "cancel culture" of people erring and doing wrong, either on purpose or by accident. And there's less forgiveness in our world," he told Associated Press.
"I think we're unfortunately in a coarser environment."
"I think our societies have become harder and less understanding, less tolerant, less forgiving."
"Where does forgiveness live in our society?"
"Where can we accept someone's behavior if they are contrite, if they are apologetic, and take responsibility?"
"I think we need to take a second look at that, and exhale."
"And realize that asking forgiveness and receiving forgiveness are not weaknesses but are human strengths."