Rowan Atkinson ― a British actor world-renowned for his portrayal of the silent clown Mr. Bean — has spoken.
And his words were a bounty … for Twitter, at least.
In an interview with U.K. outlet Radio Times on Monday, Atkinson shared his views on “cancel culture,” equating it to a “medieval mob.”
“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,” Atkinson said. “It becomes a case of either you’re with us or against us. And if you’re against us, you deserve to be ‘canceled.’”
“It’s important that we’re exposed to a wide spectrum of opinion,” he added, “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.”
Although Atkinson’s opinion on the topic wasn’t novel, many on Twitter found the very fact of an actor who plays an utter goofball like Mr. Bean waxing poetic about identity politics very amusing.
Atkinson also commented on the burden he bears thanks to the global popularity of Mr. Bean.
“I don’t much enjoy playing him,” Atkinson said of his silent, slapstick character, who has transcended cultures and generated a franchise brimming with movies, animated series and books. “The weight of responsibility is not pleasant. I find it stressful and exhausting, and I look forward to the end of it.”
People couldn’t help but find the tears of this clown funny as well.
Twitter users also had a hard time ignoring that Tuesday turned out to be a really big day for beans: “Mr. Bean” went viral on Twitter the same day that “Bean Dad” also trended.
Many folks didn’t think this was as coincidental as it appeared.
Meanwhile, HuffPost decided to reach out to the character of Mr. Bean to get his opinion on the whole fiasco, but this is all we got in response:
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