The Brilliant Rowan Atkinson Cans Cancel Culture: It's a 'Medieval Mob'

The Brilliant Rowan Atkinson Cans Cancel Culture: It's a 'Medieval Mob'
(Giles Keyte/Focus Features via AP)


Another entertainer comes out — against Cancel Culture.

You may think of Rowan Atkinson as a star in children’s comedy — after all, he manned the spotlight in the kid-friendly films Bean and Mr. Bean’s Holiday, playing a man-child who may or may not have gotten an entire turkey stuck on his head.

But I’ll shout it from the hilltops: The British comedian is absolutely brilliant.

And I challenge you not to laugh at the turkey.

Mr. Atkinson has, of course, also found success on the small screen. In addition to 15 episodes of Mr. Bean, his acclaimed 1980’s series Blackadder is a classic.

And Rowan knows there’s one thing that can never be classic: cancellation.

Of the cultural kind.

Speaking to the UK’s Radio Times, Rowan sounded off on the trend of destroying people due to past sins.

As reported by Variety, he dropped the hammer on what sounds like a scene from a Hammer film:

“[It’s the] digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets…”

Rowan’s not wrong.

It’s simple:

“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. It becomes a case of either you’re with us or against us. And if you’re against us, you deserve to be ‘canceled.’”

These days, there’s tremendous talk of diversity. Yet, it seems many promoting the principle don’t much care for it where it’s actually valuable: in the area of thought.

Rowan knows better:

“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.”

The entertainment icon’s not the first funny man from across the pond to point out that there’s nothing woke about the tired act of crucifixion. And more applicable — there’s nothing funny.

As I covered in July, the great John Cleese noted that, if you can’t poke fun at things, there’s not a whole lot of humor to be mined:

“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…”

Two months prior, the BBC pulled an episode of Cleese’s hit sitcom Fawlty Towers because it — per John — “made fun of Germans and World War II and also [involved] a character using a racial slur.”

The Monty Python legend called the move “cowardly and gutless.”

From my article:

Political correctness is killing comedy, according to the studio and state legend, because comedians “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.”

Back to Rowan, if you haven’t seen what he can do, I highly recommend you check out all his endeavors — including Johnny English (2003), Johnny English: Reborn (2011), and Johnny English Strikes Again (2018, featuring the fantastic Olga Kurylenko — see the photo above).

But for my money, best is the gloriously clever Rowan Atkinson Live.

You’re not likely to find a funnier near-one man comedy show.

And for those of you amazed at the education articles posted to RedState, you may especially enjoy his sketch about a parent’s meeting with the headmaster (Mild Language Warning).

Enjoy it while you can: Rowan and the program — like all people and programs — may eventually get #Canceled.



See more pieces from me:

Again, for the Win: Ricky Gervais Completely Demolishes Cancel Culture

Be Careful What You Snapchat: A Cancel Culture Tale

He’s on a Roll: Elon Musk Tells the World to ‘Cancel Cancel Culture’

Find all my RedState work here.

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