Mr. Bean alum, Rowan Atkinson has opened up about the rise of cancel culture. He compared social media users to a “medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn”.
In his recent interview with the Radio Times, the British actor talked about social media platforms being a medium for the increased level of polarization. He claimed this makes him fearful for the future of freedom of speech. The actor explained that the problem they have online is the algorithm decides what we want to see.
Rowan said, “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’.”
The British actor shared how it is important for us to be exposed to a wide spectrum of opinions. However, he pointed out what we have now is the “equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn”. He shared how scary it is for anyone who is a victim of that mob and that it fills him with fear.
Rowan also talked about a possible hint to revive his BBC comedy, Blackadder. The actor also revealed that he finds playing Mr. Bean exhausting and stressful. He shared that Blackadder’s revival was certainly not impossible. The Johnny English actor said it is possible that the show might return after more than 30 years.
“I don’t much enjoy playing him”- Rowan On Playing Mr. Bean
He shared that there have been talks about a new series. “That’s about as optimistic as I can be and I’d rather not speculate on when it could be set,” he said. Blackadder was written by the actor himself along with Ben Elton, and Richard Curtis. The comedy show featured Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.
Rowan also pointed out how difficult it will be to recapture the creative energy of the 1980s show. The actor added that he is in talks of developing an animated Mr. Bean film. However, he shared that he does not enjoy playing the character in a live-action setting. He explained that it is easy for him to perform the character vocally than visually.
“I don’t much enjoy playing him. The weight of responsibility is not pleasant. I find it stressful and exhausting and I look forward to the end of it,” the actor explained. He is currently working with Netflix on a series called Man vs Bee.
The series will have 10-parts of shorts that revolves around a man who finds himself at war with a bee. This happens when the character is housesitting a luxurious mansion. The show is made by Rowan’s production vehicle HouseSitter Productions.