Liberal actor Bryan Cranston is so woke that he turned down a directing role because it made him aware of his “white privilege.”
The “Breaking Bad” star was slated to direct “The Foreigner,” about an Englishman who comically thwarts the Ku Klux Klan from using his fishing lodge as their meeting spot. After the BLM movement, he was woken up to his “white blindness” and no longer found the subject matter amusing.
“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 in an interview.
“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.”
The former “Malcolm In The Middle” star was shaken when he figured out he had racial blindspots. “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?'”
“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,” Cranston continued.
Instead of helming “The Foreigner,” he will be portraying a Harvard professor who invites a white nationalist to speak at a symposium in “Power of Sail” later this month. The play tackles the notion that social intolerance will prevail if hateful views are allowed to be expressed.
“There need to be barriers, there need to be guard rails,” Cranston said about free speech. “If someone wants to say the Holocaust was a hoax, which is against history… to give a person space to amplify that speech is not tolerance. It’s abusive.”
Though he does believe that cancellation isn’t a requirement if people apologize for their actions. “Somewhere in this more hardened world — this less civil world that we find ourselves in — someplace, somewhere, lives forgiveness,” he concluded.