I don’t give much stock anymore to pretty much anything coming out of the mouths of anyone from Hollywood. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t agree with the sentiment of something a celebrity says should it not be completely insane — which is a rarity these days.
Actor Idris Elba spoke with Radio Times magazine and spoke about “cancel culture,” which in this interview dealt with the removal and/or cancellation of shows and movies from ultra-sensitive streaming platforms like HBO Max.
“I don’t believe in censorship,” Elba said. “I believe that we should be allowed to say what we want to say. Because, after all, we’re story-makers.”
But just because Elba doesn’t think certain controversial properties should be censored or removed, doesn’t mean that he thinks there should be no indication for viewers that lets them know what they’ll be watching.
“Out of respect for the time and the movement, commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time – fair enough and good for you,” Elba also said. “But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they’re getting into.”
That being said, Elba’s suggestion doesn’t deter him from his belief in freedom of speech.
“I’m very much a believer in freedom of speech. But the thing about freedom of speech is that it’s not suitable for everybody. That’s why we have a rating system: we tell you that this particular content is rated U, PG, 15, 18, X,” Elba said before joking. “I don’t know anything about X, by the way.”
That’s fair, and Elba makes a good point. We already have a ratings system that warns people of foul language, sexual situations and certain levels of violence within a TV show or movie. Those that want further warnings are engaging in censorship without knowing it. That’s just one step short of cancelling or removing an entity. And as we know, the cliched slippery slope is a known cliche for a reason.