The legendary comedian, Rowan Atkinson, popularly known for his portrayal of Mr. Bean has spoken out against cancel culture for its harm to comedy. Recently, many comedians have come under fire for their jokes and comments. Ever so often, people get offended by jokes by a comedian and this is followed by protests and calls for canceling the artist.
This phenomenon has a chilling effect on comedy and free speech. Rowan Atkinson, the legendary comic has now come out in defense of comedy. We take a closer look at his comments in this article.
Rowan Atkinson Addresses Cancel Culture’s Harm to Comedy
The British comedian and actor recently gave an interview to the Irish Times. He came out swinging against the cancel culture phenomenon. He said:
“It does seem to me that the job of comedy is to offend or have the potential to offend, and it cannot be drained of that potential,” “Every joke has a victim. That’s the definition of a joke. Someone or something or an idea is made to look ridiculous.”
The Mr. Bean star continued: “I think you’ve got to be very, very careful about saying what you’re allowed to make jokes about. You’ve always got to kick up? Really? What if there’s someone extremely smug, arrogant, aggressive, self-satisfied, who happens to be below in society? They’re not all in houses of parliament or in monarchies.”
Finally, Atkinson remarked: “There are lots of extremely smug and self-satisfied people in what would be deemed lower down in society, who also deserve to be pulled up. In a proper free society, you should be allowed to make jokes about absolutely anything.” What do you think of Atkinson’s comments? Let us know your opinion in the comments section below.
Rowan Atkinson’s new series Man vs. Bee premieres on June 24 on Netflix.