Mr. Bean Doesn’t Like Playing Mr. Bean and Doesn’t Like ‘Cancel Culture’
Rowan Atkinson is over playing the character that made him famous.
In an interview with RadioTimes, the 65-year-old English actor reveals that he doesn’t like playing his iconic character Mr. Bean and that he strongly disagrees with the online practice known as cancel culture.
"I don't much enjoy playing him [Mr. Bean]. The weight of responsibility is not pleasant,” the actor shares. “I find it stressful and exhausting, and I look forward to the end of it."
He admits that he is willing to return to the role of Mr. Bean under certain circumstances, though.
"Having made an animated TV series, we're now in the foothills of developing an animated movie for Mr. Bean ... it's easier for me to perform the character vocally than visually," he explains.
Atkinson also addresses his disdain towards the internet and cancel culture, which takes place when someone is kicked out of social or professional communities, whether online or in real life, for expressing an unpopular opinion or offensive viewpoint. Atkinson believes social media and online algorithms are apparently dividing society and turning people against one another.
"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,'" he argues. "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."
According to Australian newspaper The Australian, Atkinson doesn't believe in having a social media presence and refers to it as “a side-show in my world.”
Atkinson has historically campaigned against anti-hate speech laws on the grounds that they would stifle free speech, which many comedians have used to bolster their complaints against “cancel culture.”
Check out some reactions to Mr. Bean's anti-cancel-culture views from Twitter: