“Reading Rainbow” host and actor LeVar Burton said Monday that he has no qualms with the cancel culture mentality but believes the movement would be better represented by the term “consequence culture” so it can continue holding people accountable for past errors.
In an interview with “The View” co-host Meghan McCain, Burton was asked about the Dr. Seuss controversy and the decision to discontinue several popular children’s books over claims of racist imagery.
“What do you think of that decision and about the cancel culture surrounding works of art or artists that are controversial?” McCain asked.
“That man, Theodor Geisel, is responsible for generations of wholesome, healthy, wonderful, creative content for children of all ages. So, I think we need to put things in perspective,” Burton said.
But, he continued, “In terms of cancel culture, I think it’s misnamed. That’s a misnomer. I think we have a consequence culture, and that consequences are finally encompassing everybody in the society, whereas they haven’t been ever in this country.”
Despite repeated warnings from Republicans and select Democrats who have publically denounced cancel culture as a threat to U.S. society, Burton said he thinks there are “good signs that are happening in the culture right now.”
“I think it has everything to do with a new awareness on people who were simply unaware of the real nature of life in this country for people who have been othered since this nation began,” he argued.
Burton doubled down on his comments later Monday amid social media backlash, writing on Twitter, “I said it and I stand by it… #bydhttmwfi.”
Marvel actor Don Cheadle expressed a similar sentiment earlier this year, calling the term cancel culture “not really real.”
“I guess it’s real to the degree that you listen to that noise. I don’t know that people are purely canceled because … I don’t know that there are any pure irredeemable situations unless it’s been deemed, not that you have said something off, but that you are that way and that there is stuff in your past that is consistent with that thing that you said, that one-off thing that looked like a one-off moment,” Cheadle told Fox News earlier this year.
Unlike his counterparts in Hollywood however, comedian Ricky Gervais has been sounding the alarm about the dangers of cancel culture and its impact on the world of comedy for some time.
Gervais previously complained about how cancel culture has made it increasingly difficult for commedients to entertain in an environment where the consequences of one’s words are so dire.
His name has since become synonymous with the 2020 Golden Globes opening monologue, in which he openly roasted some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association itself. Gervais revealed on Twitter Sunday that he wasn’t invited to the 93rd Academy Awards.