LeVar Burton visits ‘The Daily Show’ to address book ban campaigns – The Hollywood Reporter

LeVar Burton urges viewers to “read forbidden books” in response to the ongoing and growing challenges facing books in public schools across the nation on Tuesday night’s episode of Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Appearing from afar, lover Star Trek: The Next Generation the actor visited the backend of a Daily program segment about “the latest culture war that’s tearing America apart.” Old Burton’s Riffing Reading Rainbow installation, Burton is seen sitting in the room as he shows three different books to children, all of which have been banned or challenged by adults in an attempt to limit what all children can access. access and read.

“I’m so excited to read with you today,” the actor-director began. “Our first pick is called RosaAnd that’s the story of Rosa Parks. “

Burton is then quickly cut when the screen is cut and a single message appears asking viewers to take action if the content is infringed. When Burton reappeared, he explained that “it turns out that book was banned for reading about divisive segregation, but because pretty much any book featuring black people today is considered divisive. turn, this is the book without any people in it. “The second header that the previous Reading Rainbow server had was And Tango forms three, Picture book of two male penguins adopting and raising a baby penguin.

“Both penguins are boys,” he said before the still screen appeared again. “Ah, I was told that book was also banned for being sexually objectionable, which is weird since there is no sex in the book at all.”

“They all adopted the child!” he continued. “What do you guys want? A mom and dad penguin so the kids can make sure the penguins are tapping their boots?”

To push all boundaries, the final choice is the classic work of Dr. Seuss Hop on Pop, participated in a 2014 challenge, revealed by the Toronto Public Library in an annual review committee note release. The request to ban the children’s book was made by a local father for “encouragement[ing] children use violence against their fathers,” according to TIME Journal.

“You’re racing me here!” Burton responded to the challenge. “OK. There are many books to choose from. But you know what? Is not. Read the books they don’t want you to read. That’s where the good stuff comes in,” he said before hearing police sirens.

“Oh SHIT. They’re coming. Reading is forbidden!” he said before disappearing from the screen.

Book bans and challenges are an ongoing issue in the United States, with the American Library Association publishing an annual list of the most challenged books, many of which regularly explore thematic topics. such as race and LGBTQ identity. But the kind of national campaign, a notable element of the 1950s McCarthyism era, going on now has made for a positive resurgence. The current trend, dominated by right-wing Americans and conservative politicians, is what Noah says “has gotten out of control.”

“I can’t believe these people want to ban a biography of Michelle Obama. It is a biography. That totally gives the game that this is about igniting a culture war rather than protecting the kids,” Noah said.

Elsewhere in Tuesday night’s 10-minute segment, he admitted that “they’re banning books about race, gender, sexuality, emotions, history – guys, that’s all books” and said that the ban is really about “keeping the culture war going for political gain. “

“You don’t just have Republicans in dozens of states around the country who suddenly realize that there are books that they want to ban in their libraries,” he said. “Come on. It happens because they think it’s a victory issue, or at least they think it’s a victory issue rather than Trump secretly still being president.”

Noah even directly tackled legislation introduced by Senator Rob Standridge of Oklahoma in December 2021 that would allow parents to not only challenge books in public schools, but also set out prize money. The $10,000 they could collect per day if the successfully banned book remained on the bookshelf of the public school library.

“One thing that upsets parents about a book their child is reading at school. But once you put out a $10,000 bonus, think about what you’re doing there. Now, you’re using money just to try and stir that up,” he said. “I mean, of course, people will start looking for anything that can pay off the shelves. $10,000 is a lot of money. Ten thousand dollars more for banning a book than most authors made to write that book!

“It doesn’t happen in schools, and who knows if it will stop there?” Noah wondered at the end of the segment. “Because maybe it’s going to start in schools but before long, anywhere children go to find books could become a target.”

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