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Cancel culture should not mean art by offensive people is ‘burned’, says Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville as Roald Dahl

Hugh Bonneville as Roald Dahl

Cancel culture should not mean that work by offensive people is ‘burned’, Hugh Bonneville has said ahead of his performance as Roald Dahl.

The Downton Abbey actor urged caution over the trend of publicly denouncing celebrities as he believes there is a way of ‘balancing’ how we regard their work without condoning their offensive views or actions.

Bonneville also expressed his confusion over how imaginative people can be while producing films and art without offending people, asking ‘what dark corners are we allowed to explore and not explore?’

The 57 year old stars as Roald Dahl in his latest role for movie To Olivia – and said though he ‘decries’ the anti-Semitic views the author held, he did not carry that into his portrayal as it ‘was not relevant’.

He shared his views on cancel culture while appearing on BBC podcast Loose Ends, having been

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“We’re not human without culture; art saves people”

For most artists, it’s a badge of honour to find that their work is as relevant and powerful decades after the initial unveiling. Such achievement is bittersweet for US artist Cauleen Smith, whose acclaimed film, Drylongso, is better understood now than it ever was while it was released in 1998 when she was still at film school.

The plot focuses on an art student who starts photographing Black men out of fear they may soon go extinct, a narrative that feels horribly apt in 2020 following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“I never expected it to be as relevant now as it was then,” Smith tells us in a Zoom video call from her LA home. “The film has grown in popularity and seems more useful to people now than when I made it – then, it was looked at as a sociological document. I was

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