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Cancel culture is like a medieval mob, ‘Mr. Bean ‘

More and more people are done with the cancel culture. Or want to cancel the cancel culture. including Ricky Gervais, who said in August that he “doesn’t think it’s cool”. Rowan Atkinson has now also spoken out against the so-called “cancel culture”, in which people are boycotted or reviled online because their statement on a particular topic is seen as offensive by some.

“Mr. Bean ‘compares it to a medieval mob on a warpath. “The problem we have online is that an algorithm determines what we see, which provides a simplistic, binary view of society,” he said in conversation with Radio Times. “It then becomes a matter of: you are for us or you are against us. And if you are against us, you will be canceled. ”

The actor thinks it is important that people are open to multiple opinions. “But what we have now is the digital equivalent of a medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn at the stake. That is scary for someone who is a victim of that mob and it scares me for the future. ”


On social media, people still have to get used to “Mr. Bean ‘who suddenly gets so serious (“I just think it’s funny”), after which a side path is taken and a whole conversation starts about Rowan Atkinson and what other roles he played. “He’s also the voice in The Lion King of the bird that advises the lions! ”

Cancel culture

The idea behind the cancel culture is that a famous person says something startling, after which a group of people online takes offense. Then the idea is fueled that that person canceled must be. A fine must therefore be done, for example by terminating his or her career. In a nutshell.

Also read: In the series about dreaming star chef, everything goes wrong: I leave there is nothing!

Ricky Gervais

As mentioned, Ricky Gervais already gave his opinion about the cancel culture. The British comedian, known for among others After Life, finds it “not cool” that people are fired because they have a different opinion or sense of humor. “You can choose not to watch a comedian because you don’t like him or her,” says Gervais. “But when people try to get someone fired because they don’t like their opinion, which has nothing to do with their job, that’s what I call cancel culture and that’s not cool.”

Gervais believes that someone should not be charged with a joke. “Anyone can call you an asshole, anyone can stop watching your show, anyone can burn your DVDs, but you shouldn’t have to go to court for a joke.” And he is not the only one who feels that way.


150 British and American authors, scientists and teachers have already spoken out in an open letter against the cancel culture in July last year.

The group writes in the letter that it applauds the current “necessary reckoning” with racial inequality, but that it does not accept the intolerance to dissent. The letter, published in Harper’s Magazine, denounces “public condemnation and exclusion” and “moral self-righteousness. It is becoming more and more common to call for retaliation when someone says or thinks something that would be unacceptable. ”

According to the authors, the current (online) culture that prevails makes public debate impossible. “The restriction of the debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably harms those who have no power.”

The letter was signed by chess grandmaster Garri Kasparov and writers Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and also J.K. Rowling, who has been under fire for a while for certain statements.

Former US President Obama said two years ago that it is no good if you just condemn others. “We have to get rid of that idea of ​​your own purity, that you never do anything wrong and never get discredited. The world is unclear, there are many uncertainties. People who do good things also have flaws. ”

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Cancel culture is like a medieval mob, “Mr. Bean ‘


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