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Comedian Rowan Atkinson: Cancel Culture ‘Like A Medieval Mob’

British star has a long history of defending free speech against the language police

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ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Rowan Atkinson, famous for portraying the characters Mr Bean and Blackadder, has once again hit headlines for slamming the rise of a destructive cancel culture.

In an interview with the UK’s Radio Times, Atkinson described online trolls trying to ban everything as “the digital equivalent of the medieval mob.”

“The problem we have online is that an algorithm decides what we want to see, which ends up creating a simplistic, binary view of society,” he said.

“It becomes a case of either you’re with us or against us. And if you’re against us, you deserve to be ‘cancelled’,” the British comedian emphasised.

Atkinson also blasted social media, saying that it fills him with “fear about the future,” because it continues to lower tolerance for differing opinions, which widens divisions in society.

“What we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn,” Atkinson urged.

He noted that he has been on the end of the hate mob, not only owing to some of the skits in Mr Bean, many of which were written 30 years ago, but also because of his long history of standing up for free speech.

“It is scary for anyone who’s a victim of that mob and it fills me with fear about the future,” Atkinson declared.

Atkinson opposed the introduction of so called ‘hate speech’ laws in 2005, describing the legislation as like taking “sledgehammer to crack a nut”.

Atkinson also opposed the introduction of homophobic ‘hate speech’ clauses into UK law in 2009.

At the time in 2009, Atkinson outlined where such moves to quell speech were heading, prophesising “a culture of censoriousness, a questioning, negative and leaden attitude that is encouraged by legislation of this nature.”

The comedian warned that it would only be “considerably and meaningfully alleviated by [a] free speech clause.”

In 2012, Atkinson further railed against “insulting” behaviour being classed as a criminal offence.

“The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult,” Atkinson stated at the time during an impassioned defence of free speech:

In 2020, Atkinson was again targeted by the mob he speaks about when he publicly opposed Scotland’s ‘hate crimes’ bill, saying that it “risked stifling freedom of expression, and the ability to articulate or criticise religious and other beliefs”.

Several other comedians have railed against the rise of cancel culture, including Monty Python star John Cleese, The Office creator Ricky Gervais, the ‘podfathers’ Joe Rogan and Adam Carolla, as well as Bill Burr and ‘politically incorrect’ star Dave Chapelle, to name just a few.

Cancel culture has seen some comedians self-censoring in order to appease the mob:

Comedy is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to cancel culture, however. There are signs that its tentacles are penetrating deeply into all aspects of society.

A recent study by leading education focused think tank Civitas revealed that free speech at the world’s leading universities is being eroded at an alarming rate.

The study found that within the past three years, more than 68 per cent of universities in the UK have seen free speech severely restricted, with academics unable to meaningfully discuss the nuances of issues such as race and gender.

The report notes that universities including Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews, three of the world’s premiere institutions are among those that have fallen into a “red” category for free speech following instances of “no platforming” of scheduled speakers.

Last year, 150 of the world’s top intellectuals, authors and activists signed an open letter decrying leftist cancel culture, censorship and the totalitarian march of “ideological conformity.”

The letter warned that cancel culture is creating a climate of risk aversion that is preventing anyone from dissenting from the monolithic consensus of social justice rhetoric, creating a “stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time.”

In the US, the Deputy Secretary of The Department of Homeland Security also recently warned that the actions of tech companies in embracing cancel culture, and censoring opinions they do not agree with constitutes a “grave threat to national security.”

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South African Cricket Players Ordered to ‘Take a Knee’ Before T20 World Cup

Despite it being against some players’ religious beliefs.

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South African cricket players have been ordered to ‘take a knee’ before their team’s T20 World Cup matches despite some of the players complaining that it violates their religious beliefs.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) issued the directive last night after some of the players refused to perform the pro-BLM virtue signaling gesture before a match against Australia.

“South African players of color knelt and raised a fist, while fast bowler Anrich Nortje and wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen put their hands behind their backs and maintained a distance from their playing cohort,” reports Breitbart.

The CSA announced it had “unanimously agreed to issue a directive requiring all Proteas players to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism by “taking the knee” prior to the start of their remaining World Cup matches.”

The body said it was enforcing the order due to “the lack of support for the initiative” for the “BLM initiative,” especially given “South Africa’s history.”

That phrasing is interesting given controversy over professional football players in England taking the knee, with advocates claiming it had nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter organization and was merely a non-political stand against racism.

The Courier-Mail reported that some South African players refused to ‘take a knee’ because the gesture was “against their religious beliefs” and that “a good Christian man only takes a knee for two people – his wife and his God.”

The gesture was widely adopted by professional sports teams in the aftermath of last year’s deadly riots following the police killing of George Floyd.

Meanwhile, spectators attending the T20 tournament were made to isolate in what some described as “sheep pens” to safeguard against the spread of COVID.

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DC Comics Artist Quits; Says Woke Superman Dropping ‘The American Way’ From Motto “Really Pissed Me Off”

“I’m finishing out my contract with DC. I’m tired of this sh*t, I’m tired of them ruining these characters; they don’t have a right to do this.”

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An artist who worked for DC Comics has quit saying that he is “tired of them ruining these characters,” including Superman, after the company dropped ‘the American way’ from the hero’s famous motto.

Colorist Gabe Eltaeb revealed on a recent podcast “I’m finishing out my contract with DC. I’m tired of this sh*t, I’m tired of them ruining these characters; they don’t have a right to do this.”

“What really pissed me off was saying truth, justice, and a better world. F*ck that; it was ‘truth, justice, and the American way,'” Eltaeb further stated.

“My Grandpa almost died in World War II; we don’t have a right to destroy sh*t that people died for to give us. It’s a bunch of f*cking nonsense,” Eltaeb urged.

The artist, who worked on the much maligned “Son of Kal-El” Superman books in which Clark Kent’s son comes out as a bi-sexual social justice warrior, also spoke about the abuse he has been subjected to for his opinion on the comic book characters being ruined.

“They call us bigots and racist and sh*t,” Eltaeb noted, adding “I would ask them, find me in the f*cking mainstream, not on the fringes, one f*cking book, one f*cking t-shirt, one movie that says that leftism is bad, and conservatism is good, find it for me, they f*cking won’t. They’re not letting people have a voice, they’re the f*cking bigots.”

The podcast host Ethan Van Sciver added “You cannot come out and be a conservative and criticize the company that you work for in this way. You have to be completely supportive of the corporate agenda, whatever it is.”

“You have to keep your negative or critical opinions to yourself, and it’s so liberating to be able to not work for DC comics and be able to say exactly what you think,” Sciver emphasised, adding “And I think that’s what Gabe is going through here.”

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    Dumbest Tweet of the Year?

    It’s a contender.

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    Leftist media outlet says Squid Game was successful because there weren’t any white people in it.

    (The show was made in South Korea and the entire cast, apart from one dude, is Korean).

    Journalists can’t even judge the quality of a piece of art without first filtering it through their insufferable oppression olympics purity test.

    Please share this video! https://youtu.be/YZ1DXa1ewRA

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