Rowan Atkinson, best known for his roles as clueless klutz Mr Bean and the sarcastic and scheming Blackadder, has hit out at “cancel culture.” Atkinson is actually a free speech campaigner and spoke at the Parliamentary launch of a (ultimately successful) campaign to reform a legal provision that outlawed ‘insulting words and behaviour’.
Atkinson said that when he thought about the future the state of free speech “filled him with fear” and he likened proponents of ‘cancel culture’ to a “medieval mob” looking for books 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’.
“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.
“So it is scary for anyone who’s a victim of that mob and it fills me with fear about the future.”
His comments come as the row over TalkRadio‘s YouTube channel, which we reported on earlier, was settled as a backlash led to the Google-owned company backing down and restoring the channel which has been deleted over some of its presenters questioning lockdown.