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Idris Elba Doesn’t 'Believe In Censorship' When It Comes To Racism In Old Films And TV

Since the recent traction the Black Lives Matter movement has generated, people's tolerance for racism has been greatly diminished — and it's about time!

Unfortunately for some, this means that certain TV shows that have contained racist themes in the past, are being confronted by cancel culture.

Idris Elba, however, doesn't believe that this is the right approach, and instead, has offered an alternative solution that may work for everyone.

Since the Black Lives Matter movement has started getting the recognition it deserves, many have started realizing that racism is far larger than just police brutality in America.

It's everywhere, including movies and TV shows that are, evidently, dated.

Shows such as *Mad Men, Gone With The Wind, Scrubs, 30 Rock, The Golden Girls*, and more have all been requested to be removed from streaming services entirely.

Certain episodes of those shows that depict racist themes, including blackface, have called for them to be removed altogether.

Instead of having them removed, however, they have instead decided to update said episodes by including an advisory beforehand.

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The warning that Mad Men has added reads: “This episode contains disturbing images related to race in America."

"One of the characters is shown in blackface as part of an episode that shows how commonplace racism was in America in 1963."

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"In its reliance on historical authenticity, the series producers are committed to exposing the injustices and inequities within our society".

"That continue to this day so we can examine even the most painful parts of our history in order to reflect on who we are today".

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"And who we want to become. We are therefore presenting the original episode in its entirety," it concludes.

In a recent interview with *Radio Times*, actor Idris Elba praised the idea of adding advisories to dated television shows and movies that contain racist themes, instead of trying to erase them.

YouTube | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

He explained that censoring is not the answer.

He explained his thoughts and opinions on freedom of speech and censorship. “I’m very much a believer in freedom of speech,” he said.

YouTube | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

While Idris does support freedom of speech, he admits that not everything everyone has to say sits right with everyone.

“But the thing about freedom of speech is that it’s not suitable for everybody," he continued.

YouTube | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

He went on, explaining that in movies and TV shows, the rating system is in place for a reason — parental advisories and trigger warnings exist for a reason.

"That’s why we have a rating system," he said.

YouTube | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

"We tell you that this particular content is rated U, PG, 15, 18.”

He thinks that viewers have a right to decide what content they choose to digest, and a right to know that there was a time in history where shows like this were allowed to exist.

“To mock the truth, you have to know the truth," he went on.

YouTube | The Graham Norton Show

"But to censor racist themes within a show, to pull it — wait a second, I think viewers should know that people made shows like this."

He added that he thinks it is fair that because of the movement, people want these shows taken away entirely. But doesn't think that that's the solution.

YouTube | The Graham Norton Show

“Out of respect for the time and the movement, commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time – fair enough and good for you," he said.

Rather, he thinks that giving creators the right to say whatever they want to say and giving viewers the right to know what they're getting themselves into ahead of time is going to be most effective for everyone.

YouTube | The Graham Norton Show

"But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they’re getting into.

"I don’t believe in censorship," he added.

YouTube | The Graham Norton Show

He explained that creators, writers, producers, directors, and actors are responsible for bringing stories to life, and they shouldn't be blocked creatively.

Which is a bold statement during these times.

“I believe that we should be allowed to say what we want to say. Because, after all, we’re story-makers," he concluded.

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While racism is obviously never okay and should have never been so accepted by society, we can't erase history.

We can only change how things are handled going forward, and so, Idris makes a fair point.

Do you think that TV shows and movies that depict racist themes should be removed from networks and streaming services? Or instead, given a warning label for viewers?

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Let us know what you think of Idris Elba's remarks on this in the comments below!