Cancel culture is “virus”, “modern McCarthyism”

Succession star Brian Cox is the latest celebrity to take on celebrity cancel culture, which he likened to a modern-day form of “McCarthyism.” The 75-year-old Laurence Olivier winner dropped the bombshell during an appearance on Piers Morgan’s TalkTV show Uncensored on Thursday.

“It’s really a kind of modern McCarthyism,” Cox told the host of the so-called witch hunt, in which celebs are excommunicated from Hollywood for certain actions and opinions. “It’s kind of a raid on people’s sensibilities to reduce them and make them… I don’t know, there’s so much hypocrisy about it.”

The actor continued, “I’m not religious, but there’s something in the Bible that says, ‘May he or she cast the first stone without sin,’ and there seems to be a lot of stone throwing. And it’s like a virus.”

Cox was in good company as he discussed the negativity of cancellation culture with Post columnist Piers Morgan, who recently vowed to erase the crushing trend.

“My mission statement for this show is simple: I’m resigning from the abandonment culture,” Morgan told Piers Morgan Uncensored viewers in April. “I will defeat this insidious, cheerless scourge of society with the most effective weapons for maintaining democracy: common sense and truth. And this is the truth. Not ‘your’ truth.”

"It's kind of a raid on people's sensibilities to reduce them and make them... I don't know, there's so much hypocrisy in the whole thing," said Cox.
“It’s kind of a raid on people’s sensibilities to reduce them and make them … I don’t know, there’s so much hypocrisy in the whole thing,” Cox said.
Ash Knotek/Piers Morgan uncensored

He added: “This is a no-cancel zone. No opinion is silenced. No debate will be taboo. No BS will be tolerated.”

Elsewhere in Thursday’s interview, Cox defended author JK Rowling, who received a tsunami of backlash from both the trans community and Harry Potter movie stars over her perceived transphobic comments.

“I thought there was something deeply unfair about it. And I just felt that,” explained the Scottish playwright. “It happens over and over.”

“It’s not just people who are being cancelled. It’s also people like their families, like their children, like their parents,” he added, comparing the consequences of the demolition culture to “an earthquake situation.”

“I’m not religious, but there’s something in the Bible that says, ‘May he or she cast the first stone without sin,’ and there seems to be a lot of stone throwing,” Cox commented. “And it’s like a virus.”
Ash Knotek/Piers Morgan uncensored

Cox also referenced the suspension of Aziz-Ansari’s Being Mortal over Bill Murray’s alleged “inappropriate behavior” on set. The 71-year-old Saturday Night Live legend recently attributed the incident to a “difference of opinion with a woman I work with.”

“It starts in my business because projects are suddenly (affected),” complained the multiple Emmy winner. “Bill Murray made a comment the other day and was taken as offensive. The picture he took was stopped, the whole thing.”

He added: “Bill continued, I think it was CNN, and explained himself, I thought quite brilliantly, by saying, ‘It’s about times that have changed, I grew up in a time and I meet in another time and it is very difficult to know how to approach that time.”

Left to right: Cherry Jones, Brian Cox and Holly Hunter "successor."
Left to right: Cherry Jones, Brian Cox and Holly Hunter in “Succession”.

Cox thought the celebrity’s scarlet lettering was particularly damaging because it inhibits people’s ability to “carry up a conversation” or even “joke with one another.”

Morgan cited comments from Twitter boss Elon Musk accusing modern Hollywood of being infected with a “wake mind virus.”

Cox replied: “It’s total fascism. You are absolutely correct. It’s total fascism… Look, it’s hypocrisy again.”

“The hypocritical notion of ‘I’m liberal’ but actually you’re a fascist and people should just stop that and behave,” he said.

JK Rowling visits the "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" World Premiere at Royal Festival Hall on March 29, 2022 in London, England.
JK Rowling attends the World Premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore at Royal Festival Hall on March 29, 2022 in London, England.
Getty Images for Warner Bros.

In fact, demolition culture has been a point of contention in Tinseltown, with some proponents calling it a democratic form of predator deterrence. Meanwhile, critics claim it serves to punish anyone who doesn’t move in step with the “awakened” Hollywood orthodoxy.

In a November interview with the Hollywood Reporter, actress Dakota Johnson bemoaned the phenomenon, saying she believes there is “major overcorrection going on” and that “people can change.”

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