Morally preening Hollywood actor Bryan Cranston recently attacked himself for being white, becoming the latest prominent Caucasian entertainer to suffer a public meltdown over his imagined racial sins.
This pious leftist thespian experienced a woke epiphany after being invited to direct a play that defends free speech, which he used to adore but no longer supports now that he has achieved a state of enlightenment about the supposed evils of “whiteness.”
Jessica Gelt wrote about Cranston’s reflections on what left-wing fabulists call white privilege in the Los Angeles Times in February.
Cranston recounted to her why he walked away from an offer to be the director of a show at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse and how doing so made him accept the role of Charles Nichols in the theater’s West Coast premiere of ‘Power of Sail,’ which was penned by Paul Grellong and directed by Weyni Mengesha.
The Nichols character is a respected Harvard professor whose invitation of a white nationalist and Holocaust denier named Carver to talk at an event stirs up controversy. Nichols says he wants to give Carver an opportunity to air his repugnant ideas, which will then be taken apart in a debate.
“An avowed ‘free-speech absolutist,’ Nichols says, ‘The answer to hate speech is more speech,’” Gelt wrote.
“Power of Sail” debuted in 2019 at the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, S.C., “but Cranston believes the play gained resonance in the wake of the pandemic and the social and racial justice uprisings following the murder of George Floyd.”
“As those occurrences shook the world, they also transformed Cranston, who says in these troubling years he came face to face with his own ‘white blindness’ and privilege. It was necessary work for a man tasked with playing a character whose white privilege prevents him from seeing the very real harm caused by his actions until it is much too late,” Gelt wrote, describing Cranston’s defective thought processes.
In 2019, the Geffen Playhouse asked if Cranston was interested in directing Larry Shue’s 1984 comedy “The Foreigner,” which thematically resembles “Power of Sail.”
“The Foreigner” is about an Englishman who combats an effort by the Ku Klux Klan – a Democrat group modern academics are reluctant to admit was founded in the wake of the Civil War specifically to murder blacks and Republicans – to transform a Georgia fishing lodge he’s staying at into a KKK meeting hall.
“Two years of global grief and pain later, the play no longer felt like an acceptable choice to Cranston,” Gelt continued.
“It is a privileged viewpoint to be able to look at the Ku Klux Klan and laugh at them and belittle them for their broken and hateful ideology,” Cranston said. “But the Ku Klux Klan and Charlottesville and white supremacists – that’s still happening and it’s not funny. It’s not funny to any group that is marginalized by these groups’ hatred, and it really taught me something.”
Cranston said he had been laughing at the play for years but now he had to deal with this supposed white privilege of his that permitted him to laugh.
“And I realized, ‘Oh my God, if there’s one, there’s two, and if there’s two, there are 20 blind spots that I have … what else am I blind to?” Cranston said. “If we’re taking up space with a very palatable play from the 1980s where rich old white people can laugh at white supremacists and say, ‘Shame on you,’ and have a good night in the theater, things need to change, I need to change.”
“I’m 65 years old now, and I need to learn, I need to change,” Cranston said, turning his back on the age-old American value of free speech.
Cranston claims to have embraced the so-called paradox of tolerance posited by the endlessly overrated Karl Popper, that is, the idea that tolerating the intolerant leads to the eventual destruction of society. (Messianic leftist billionaire George Soros, of course, adores Popper.)
But given the actor’s fondness for Communists – he eagerly portrayed Dalton Trumbo of Hollywood Ten infamy in the 2015 film Trumbo as a victim of America’s supposed intolerance – my guess is he is more sympathetic to Communist academic Herbert Marcuse’s concept of repressive tolerance. The so-called father of the New Left favored silencing perceived fascists, which according to his definition includes conservatives and anyone else opposed to the leftist agenda.
Public self-flagellation by white people over imagined racial sins is becoming fashionable in Hollywood circles.
Last year Ellie Kemper, star of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and Bridesmaids, made headlines when she issued a desperate, groveling apology for attending a debutante ball when she was 19 that was hosted by the Veiled Prophet Organization, an organization that abolished its whites-only membership policy a year before she was born.
As I wrote at this website last year, Kemper denounced herself on her Instagram account for participating in the ball put on by the organization that “had an unquestionably racist, sexist, and elitist past.”
“I unequivocally deplore, denounce, and reject white supremacy,” she added. “At the same time, I acknowledge that because of my race and my privilege, I am the beneficiary of a system that has dispensed unequal justice and unequal rewards.”
Before that, in the summer of 2020 while Black Lives Matter and Antifa – who have been wholeheartedly embraced by Hollywood and woke corporate America – were gleefully burning down American cities and murdering cops in the service of social justice, guilt-ridden white entertainers shot an embarrassing public service announcement denouncing their white privilege on behalf of something called the “I Take Responsibility” campaign.
Robotically reading from cue cards, the black-and-white video featured self-important actors Sarah Paulson, Aaron Paul, Justin Theroux, Debra Messing, Bryce Dallas Howard, Julianne Moore, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Mark Duplass, Ilana Glazer, Bethany Joy Lenz, Piper Perabo, and singer Kesha. Some expressed regret over things they did in their past that they now retroactively view as racially insensitive and some condemned America as a racist hellhole. Paul ranted about “killer cops.”
Tucci said, “I will no longer allow an unchecked moment. I will no longer allow racist hurtful words, jokes, stereotypes, no matter how big or small, to be uttered in my presence.”
In a since-deleted tweet promoting the largely ridiculed video, Moore wrote, “Today, #ITakeResponsibility for my role in eradicating racism in America. Unless white America acknowledges its privilege, systemic racism will persist. Act Now. What will you commit to?”
In this age of racial self-denunciation, few in Hollywood nowadays seem to have enough sense to heed the wise admonitions of one of America’s greatest actors, Academy Award-winning Morgan Freeman, who urged Americans to stop talking about race.
During a famous interview in 2005 with Mike Wallace for “60 Minutes,” Freeman said he thought the idea of having Black History Month was “ridiculous.”
“You’re going to relegate my history to a month?” the actor said. “What do you do with yours? Which month is White History Month? Come on, tell me.”
“I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history,” he said.
Wallace pushed back only to be interrupted by Freeman.
“How are we going to get rid of racism until … ” Wallace began to ask.
“Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man. And I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You’re not going to say, “I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.” Hear what I’m saying?”
Hollywood doesn’t hear what Freeman has been saying.
And there is no reason to believe it will anytime soon.