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During his recent welcome speech for the 2023 National Book Awards ceremony, actor LeVar Burton suggested to the crowd that he'd get physically violent with members of conservative group Moms for Liberty.
"Before we get going, are there any Moms for Liberty in the house?" Burton asked, according to video from Wednesday's broadcast. "Moms for Liberty? No? Good! Then hands will not need to be thrown tonight."
A number of folks in the audience — presumably consisting of individuals who wouldn't tolerate a smidgen of violence against women — hooted, hollered, and clapped following Burton's rather misogynistic declaration:
2023 National Book Awards Ceremony - featuring LeVar Burton welcome and special guest Oprah Winfreyyoutu.be
Guess it's all good as long as the correct women get beaten up, eh, LeVar?
What's the background?
The Huffington Post detailed Burton's "outspoken ... disgust" for Moms for Liberty, and the left-wing outlet called the group "extremist" and said Moms for Liberty "has described itself as defending 'parental rights' in government while also seeking to have books removed from libraries. During last week’s U.S. elections, Moms for Liberty set out to take over various school boards but ultimately wasn’t successful."
HuffPost also called attention to an Esquire interview in which Burton indicated he was “thrilled” that “hardly any candidates backed by Moms for Liberty won their races.”
“These are people who would rather children not know the truth,” Burton told Esquire, according to the Post. “Those kids will never know what they’re missing, but it’s our job to stand up for them, to be their voices and their advocates. That’s what being an elder in this society means to me.”
How did Moms for Liberty react to Burton's words?
Moms for Liberty hopped on social media and gave Burton a piece of their collective mind over his remarks:
"American moms weep as a childhood favorite, Reading Rainbow, calls for physical attacks against us because we are protecting the innocence of our children," the group wrote on X. "@levarburton, why have you sunk so low? Threatening physical violence against women?"
How are other folks reacting to Burton's words?
While a few individuals loved Burton's suggestion that he'd fistfight Moms for Liberty, quite a number of others didn't take too kindly to it:
- "So Mr. Reading Rainbow is violently pro-groomer. Sad," one commenter wrote.
- "Are we gonna punch moms?" another user wondered.
- "So he likes to beat women. Never liked him as an actor, seems less than honorable as just an everyday average person as well," another commenter observed.
- "What he’s gonna hit a woman?" another user asked. "Real nice."
- "A man talking about beating up women over their political views?" another commenter queried. "Very bad look."
- "Threatening violence? Is that what you stand for?" another user asked.
- "Hey @levarburton, if you’re so certain this is an acceptable stance, why don’t you be a real man and host a revival episode of Reading Rainbow on PBS with excerpts of the explicit scenes from 'Gender Queer'? You won’t because it wouldn’t be allowed on TV," another user pointed out. "You now think it’s brave to threaten women who want to protect their kids from being exposed to sexually explicit material (like the book mentioned above). You’ve betrayed every value that led you to be a part of Reading Rainbow. You’re aiding and abetting abuse of children. Enjoy watching your legacy burn down around you…you lit the match, bud."
The National Book Foundation, which presents the National Book Awards, on Friday did not immediately respond to Blaze Media's request for comment regarding Burton's Moms for Liberty remarks.
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Sr. Editor, News
Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.