Home Entertainment industry ‘Mr. Bean, ‘Cancel culture and the need for nuance

‘Mr. Bean, ‘Cancel culture and the need for nuance


Just a few days later the ballad of “Bean Dad”, Rowan Atkinson, famous for playing Mister Bean, spoke out against “canceling culture” in an interview with the Radio Times.

“The problem we have online is that an algorithm decides what we want to see, which ends up creating a simplistic and binary view of society. It becomes a case where you are with us or against us. And if you’re against us, you deserve to be ‘canceled’, ”Atkinson said.

Usually when a wealthy celebrity complains about “canceling the culture” people rush to, well, “cancel it”, seeing their complaint as nothing more than a desire to deflect public criticism.

Most of the time, this is not a read without charity – privileged lives of obscene wealth and fabulously successful live privileged lives, are accustomed to receiving overwhelming praise, and probably find it extremely baffling when strangers laugh at them. ‘them on Twitter, or demand that they stop using their platform to crush marginalized and vulnerable populations.

But sometimes, as in the case of “Bean Dad,” a random Twitter user will find themselves overrun with perennially bored, self-righteous bullies, and may even lose their livelihood because of something stupid they are. said a decade ago.

Remember, edgy humor was incredibly popular just a few years ago – many beloved comedians wore blackface, said slurs, or made deeply offensive jokes. The question is, do they still perpetuate harmful stereotypes and poke fun at the marginalized? Do they regret their immaturity and the occasional promotion of bigotry, or are they doubling down?

Most of these conversations are about celebrities and influencers, despite the fact that public figures often benefit from the heightened attention that controversy attracts; watch the meteoric careers of Jake Paul, Kanye West, PewDiePie, Elon Musk and Donald Trump’s rise to the White House.

Obviously, being the target of a ‘cancellation’ isn’t much of a problem for established and successful media personalities, but it can cripple small creators and social media users who have no power or influence. . So what are we talking about when we use the term “cancel culture?” “

It depends on who you ask – it’s all relative. But the pearl, public panic, and censorship are certainly not a modern phenomenon – there was a time when Dungeons & Dragons, heavy metal and video games were seriously considered a direct cause of violence.

Indeed, there was a time when Métis couples were rarely represented on television, when Ellen DeGeneres almost lost her career on the basis of her sexuality, and when Sinéad O’Connor suffered an extraordinary public reaction after exposing the sins. of the Catholic Church.

When discussing the culture of cancellation, it is important to keep the context in mind, and there is a lot to consider; dragging a stranger over offensive old tweets seems like a complete waste of time to me. But challenging institutional biases and outdated social norms through social media activism can be a flawed, but effective way to bring about change.

Rowan Atkinson didn’t quite say what he was talking about when he condemned the crop cancellation. Maybe he’s on the side of the marginalized, fighting for recognition, or worried about the future of comedy, as social norms change. Maybe he just feels sorry for JK Rowling, who knows?

Whatever its intention, the 2021 speech seems, so far, obsessed with controversy – and beans.