MR. BEAN Actor Rowan Atkinson Rebukes Cancel Culture: ‘The Job of Comedy Is to Offend’

Photo from Mr. Bean’s Instagram

MR. BEAN Actor Rowan Atkinson Rebukes Cancel Culture: ‘The Job of Comedy Is to Offend’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Rowan Atkinson known for his iconic role as “Mr. Bean,” rebuked cancel culture in a recent interview.

“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,” Atkinson said. “Every joke has a victim. That’s the definition of a joke. Someone or something or an idea is made to look ridiculous.”

He 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. 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,” Atkinson concluded. 

This is not the first time the actor has spoken out against “cancel culture.” Movieguide® previously reported

Actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson, known for his roles as MR. BEAN and JOHNNY ENGLISH, compared cancel culture and the rise of “social media warriors” to a “medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn.”

In a recent interview, the British star accused social media users and platforms of needless polarization and fears that the mob’s readiness to “cancel” someone could result in a direct attack on freedom of speech.

“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’,” Atkinson told Radio Times.

Atkinson continued: “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.”