Tim Minchin discussed the “cancellation culture” in a powerful interview on BBC One’s evening news.
Anglo-Australian comedian and writer, whose musicals Snake Day currently playing at London’s Old Vic, known for challenging convention and speaking out on topics ranging from censorship to Brexit.
Speaking on Friday night’s episode of evening news (June 2), he said: “Oh yeah, I was worried about the cancellation. Language is hopeless, though.
“There must be ambiguity, there must be contradiction in every conversation. My super progressive left-handed friends say, ‘There is no such thing as cultural cancellation. Only the powerful get what they deserve.’ I mean, that’s naive.
“If you still think so, then you’re just as bad as a climate denier, or if you don’t think there’s a problem with a culture of criticism or public shame.”
He continued: “I prefer to talk about shame in public – and it is for everyone, women and people of color. If you think it only works with old rich men, you know, old, pale men, you’re not looking at the world.
“People are hurt by public shame when they don’t deserve it all day, every day.
“And that’s ridiculous and mentally ill and it asks you not to be in someone else’s shoes.”
While Minchin is talking about “destroying culture” in the context of “control of behavior and language” in art, and not directly referring to This morning presenter Phillip Schofield, celebrities including broadcaster Piers Morgan and actor Rupert Everett have all spoken out in defense of Schofield this week following public backlash when he admitted to having an affair. romance with a male colleague much younger than his age.
Schofield, 61, has resigned from ITV This morning after admitting to having an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with an employee, whom he first met during a school visit when the man in question was 15 years old.
Morgan wrote on Twitter: “Unless Phillip Schofield’s ex contradicts his version of events Sun [and the] BBC, it’s time to end this relentless persecution of a man who has lost everything and looks dangerous to me.”
In an interview with Channel 4, Everett said coverage of Schofield’s affair was “homophobic” and should be “ignored by the media”.
Schofield, who has left ITV altogether, gave an emotional interview with the BBC earlier this week in which he hinted he had once contemplated suicide, saying his daughters had “saved his life” by taking care of him in the aftermath of the scandal, and was “scared” to let him “out of sight”.