LeVar Burton, Ariana Grande, Guillermo del Toro, and Others Have Signed An Open Letter Against Book Bans

More than 150 artists, musicians, actors, and writers — including Amanda Gorman, Roxane Gay, Parma Lakshmi, Ron Perlman, and others — have signed an open letter decrying book bans. The letter, which was led by LeVar Burton, was published Tuesday through pubic advocacy organization MoveOn Political Action.

It calls for everyone across the country to challenge book bans at the local level, labeling them as “antithetical to free speech and expression.” It also notes how an attack on free speech concerning books will inevitably extend to other creative endeavors, stating, “We cannot stress enough how these censorious efforts will not end with book bans. It’s only a matter of time before regressive, suppressive ideologues will shift their focus toward other forms of art and entertainment, to further their attacks and efforts to scapegoat marginalized communities, particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks.”

Burton added how, “It’s embarrassing that we are banning books in this country, in this culture, in this day and age. And it’s dangerous that a handful of individuals are deciding that any book with Black and queer people is divisive.”

Other signatories of the letter include Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Mark Ruffalo, Sarah Paulson, Sharon Stone, Bill Nye, Angie Thomas, Natasha Lyonne, and more.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.

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