Ariana Grande, Gabrielle Union, Guillermo del Toro denouncing book bans in US

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Los Angeles, September 20 (IANS): Ariana Grande, Gabrielle Union, and Guillermo del Toro are among 175 Hollywood personalities who have signed an open letter published denouncing the recent trend to ban books in schools across the USA.

The letter — backed by Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton and MoveOn Political Action organisation — calls out the “restrictive behaviour” and “chilling effect” book bans have “on the broader creative field” and how they are “antithetical to free speech and expression,” reports People magazine.

“We cannot stress enough how these censorious efforts will not end with book bans,” the letter reads, as per The Hollywood Reporter. “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 marginalised communities, particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks.”

As per People, the signatories concluded the letter by writing that they “refuse to remain silent as one creative field is subjected to oppressive bans” and that they will “band together, because a threat to one form of art is a threat to us all.”

“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,” Burton added. “We are calling on everyone to join us in raising their voices to uphold artistic freedom, embrace multicultural history and put a stop once and for all to book bans”.