Cancel culture just got another opponent: “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston.
Speaking with The Associated Press last week, Cranston said that cancel culture has created a world of no mercy.
“We live in this ‘cancel culture’ of people erring and doing wrong — either on purpose or by accident — and there’s less forgiveness in our world,” he said.
“I think we’re unfortunately in a coarser environment. I think our societies have become harder and less understanding, less tolerant, less forgiving.,” he added. “Where does forgiveness live in our society? Where can we accept someone’s behavior if they are contrite, if they are apologetic and take responsibility? Isn’t it possible that forgiveness plays a part of that and they are welcomed back in, as opposed to creating more fences, creating more, ‘you’re out, you’re in, that’s it.’ You make one mistake, gone. “
Cranston felt that society needed to “take a second look” at the concept of ostracizing people, extolling the concept of mercy and forgiveness as a human strength.
“I think we need to take a second look at that, exhale, and realize that asking forgiveness and receiving forgiveness are not weaknesses, but are human strengths,” he said.
Bryan Cranston hopes the new year brings changes to "cancel culture." pic.twitter.com/CBtYHlSmec
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) January 5, 2021
Cranston is just one of many celebrities to come out against cancel culture. Just last week, actor Rowan Atkinson, forever known as Mr. Bean, likened cancel culture to the “digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn.”
“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,” Atkinson told the U.K. Radio Times. “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,” Atkinson added. “So it is scary for anyone who’s a victim of that mob and it fills me with fear about the future.”
Speaking with Reuters this past July, “Monty Python” actor John Cleese said that cancel culture, often fueled by political correctness, “misunderstands the main purposes of life, which is to have fun.”
“Everything humorous is critical. If you have someone who is perfectly kind and intelligent and flexible and who always behaves appropriately, they’re not funny. Funniness is about people who don’t do that, like Trump,” he said.
Cleese added that political correctness creates a problem for comedians because they “have to set the bar according to what we are told by the most touchy, most emotionally unstable and fragile, and least stoic people in the country.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais has long been an opponent of cancel culture and the excesses of political correctness in general. During an episode of the podcast “SmartLess” with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett, Gervais said that being woke in today’s environment could be taboo in the next 10 years based on cultural shifts.
“The scary thing is being canceled if you say the wrong thing and suddenly Netflix can take you off their platform,” Gervais said.
“You could be the most woke, politically correct stand-up in the world at the moment, but you don’t know what it’s going to be like in 10 years time. You can get canceled for things you said 10 years ago,” he added.