LeVar Burton, Ariana Grande, Guillermo del Toro, and others have signed an open letter against book bans.
Over 150 prominent figures from the realms of art, music, film, and literature, including Amanda Gorman, Roxane Gay, Parma Lakshmi, Ron Perlman, and many others, have united in a powerful open letter denouncing the rising trend of book bans. Championed by LeVar Burton, this call to action was recently released by the public advocacy organization, MoveOn Political Action. In the open letter, these influential voices call upon citizens across the nation to oppose local book bans, asserting that such bans stand in stark contradiction to the principles of free speech and expression.
The letter also underscores the broader consequences, warning that assaults on free speech within the realm of literature may inevitably spread to impact other artistic forms.
The statement boldly declares, “We want to emphasize that these efforts to censor will inevitably extend beyond book bans. It’s just a matter of time before those with regressive and suppressive ideologies redirect their attention towards other creative forms and entertainment, intensifying their attempts to target marginalized communities, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals.” LeVar Burton, a well-known champion of literacy and education, expressed his dismay, remarking, “It’s disheartening that we find ourselves in a situation where books are being banned in our nation, within our cultural context, in the present day. What’s even more concerning is that a small group of individuals is deeming any book featuring Black and LGBTQ+ individuals as polarizing.”
Among the prominent supporters answering this urgent call to action are notable individuals like Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Mark Ruffalo, Sarah Paulson, Sharon Stone, Bill Nye, Angie Thomas, Natasha Lyonne, and a host of others. Their collective voice stands as a powerful statement against censorship and in defense of the principles of free expression and diversity in literature.