Hollywood legend Tom Hanks has blasted the ‘woke’ censorship of books that are deemed offensive by modern standards, saying he would boycott any book that is re-written to appease the ‘snowflakes’.
The Oscar-winning actor, 66, who has written his first novel about a pompous movie star across generations, said he was against the idea of abridging or altering books from any era because of contemporary sensitivities.
‘I’m of the opinion that we’re all grown-ups here. Let’s have faith in our own sensibilities as opposed to having somebody decide what we may or may not be offended by. Let me decide what I am offended by and what I’m not offended by. I would be against reading any book from any era that says ‘abridged due to modern sensitivities,’ he told the BBC.
Hanks was referring to the recent controversy over some literary works by authors such as Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming being ‘updated’ to remove or reword certain references that are considered inappropriate, racist or sexist by today’s standards.
The move sparked outrage among many readers and critics, who argued that such censorship was erasing history and culture, and that older texts should be read and discussed in their original context.
Hanks, who has starred in many family-friendly movies that may have some scenes considered questionable by some today, such as Big and Splash, said he believed that people should be able to make up their own minds on what they find offensive or not.
He also said he was not worried about his own novel, Uncommon Type, being censored or cancelled in the future, as he said he wrote it with honesty and integrity.
‘I don’t think there’s anything in there that’s going to get me cancelled. I wrote it with a great deal of honesty and integrity. I hope it stands the test of time,’ he said.
Hanks is not the only celebrity to speak out against cancel culture and censorship. Recently, comedian Dave Chappelle defended his controversial Netflix special The Closer, which was accused of being transphobic and homophobic by some activists and critics.
Chappelle said he was willing to have a dialogue with his critics, but he refused to bend to their demands or apologize for his jokes.
‘I said what I said and boy I heard what you said. My God how you said it. I will not summon to anybody’s demands,’ he said in a video posted on Instagram.
He also claimed that he was being censored by the media and the industry, saying: ‘They’ve been trying to cancel me for 10 years. All this time they’ve been trying to tell you what you can say and what you can’t say.’
The debate over cancel culture and censorship has divided many people in the entertainment industry and beyond, with some arguing that it is necessary to protect marginalized groups and promote diversity and inclusion, while others claiming that it is stifling free speech and creativity.