- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2020

British actor Idris Elba on Tuesday railed against the recent wave of censorship sparked by the global Black Lives Matter movement, saying “story-makers” in the entertainment business should be able to create freely without the threat of being canceled.

The Golden Globe-winning “Luther” star told Radio Times magazine that he’s in favor of instituting a ratings system that warns viewers of potentially outdated or offensive themes, instead of taking movies and TV shows off the air completely.

“I’m very much a believer in freedom of speech,” Mr. Elba said. “But the thing about freedom of speech is that it’s not suitable for everybody.

“To mock the truth, you have to know the truth. But to censor racist themes within a show, to pull it — wait a second, I think viewers should know that people made shows like this,” he continued. “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. But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they’re getting into.

“I don’t believe in censorship,” he added. “I believe that we should be allowed to say what we want to say. Because, after all, we’re story-makers.”

Amid the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, several streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer have removed entertainment that was deemed racially insensitive.

Last month, David Walliams and Matt Lucas’s British sketch comedy shows “Little Britain” and “Come Fly with Me” were completely scrubbed from BBC iPlayer, Netflix and BritBox over their use of blackface, Radio Times reported.

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