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Director Aaron Sorkin lashes out against cancel culture, says Twitter mobs are no different from the McCarthy era

Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Aaron Sorkin, famed screenwriter and director, hit out at cancel culture during a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

Sorkin made the remarks while interviewing about his forthcoming project, "Being the Ricardos," starring actors Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.

What are the details?

In an article published on Thursday, Sorkin said that he believed there are parallels between cancel culture and McCarthy-era Hollywood.

"The bad guys during the blacklist, it wasn't just Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn," Sorkin said. "Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn would have been powerless if it wasn't for this other committee whose job it was, if the network wants to hire me on a television series, it was their job to tell the network whether that was OK, whether a guy who owned a couple of supermarkets on Long Island was going to be OK with the network advertising their product during my show."

He continued, saying that if media heads "told these groups to take a walk," things would have been very different.

"If the studio heads and network heads had told these groups to take a walk, and had just not listened to them, everything would have been fine," Sorkin reasoned. "And so, for instance, if we were to talk about Dave Chappelle for a moment, I certainly could make a rebuttal argument against a number of the points that he makes in his special, but I have absolutely no argument with Netflix and Ted Sarandos for putting it on their platform."

Sorkin also blasted Twitter mobs and said that canceling or banning things isn't contributing to healing a heavily divided culture — such as the one in which we live.

"What we need are more people to say no to — and that's what Twitter is, Twitter is that committee that says whether or not you can abuse someone, and they must be ignored," Sorkin added.

"I just strongly believe, and now more than ever when we're living in a frighteningly divided culture, that people talking to each other is the way out and that banning things isn't," he insisted.

What else?

Elsewhere during the interview, Sorkin said that his play, "To Kill a Mockingbird," was shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and said that important films and productions need to be preserved for the integrity of education and cultural evolution.

"My play, 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' had to shut down along with everyone else a year ago March, when COVID came along, and during that year and a half, five different school districts in the country banned the teaching of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' along with 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' and 'Of Mice and Men,'" Sorkin said. "And people will point out to me, 'Well, they use the N-word in To Kill a Mockingbird.' Isn't it better to have a discussion in class about this? Isn't it an opportunity to talk about that word and why that word is almost holy in its power?"

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