Actor Bryan Cranston known for playing Walter White in Breaking Bad and Joe Brody in Godzilla recently claimed he suffers from “white blindness” and that he needs to learn and change.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times to promote his upcoming role as Charles Nichols in the stage play Power of Sail, Cranston revealed he suffers from what he calls “white blindness” and advocated for limits on free speech.
While talking about Larry Shue’s 1984 comedy “The Foreigner” that he thought about directing at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse, Cranston detailed that his “white blindness” has something to do with laughing and belittling Ku Klux Klan members
He stated, “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.”
“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,” he asserted.
From there Cranston stated, “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?”
He added, “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.”
He didn’t detail what the change needs to be.
The interview then appeared to shift to Cranston’s current role as Charles Nichols in Power Sail. As noted by the Los Angeles Times’ Jessica Gelt, Nichols is a “professor who faces intense backlash for inviting a white nationalist and Holocaust denier named Carver to speak at his annual symposium.”
The play reportedly “asks if there should be limits to free speech, and if so, why? It tests boundaries of the free speech ideal by examining the traditional arbiters of that speech — those who get to decide whose voice is lifted and whose voice is quashed.”
While discussing this theme of the play, Cranston argued there does need to be limits on speech saying, “There need to be barriers, there need to be guard rails.”
He explained, “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.”
Cranston has expressed these thoughts before. While chiding Samantha Bee, Cranston tweeted, “Samantha Bee, when we reduce the conversation to degrading vulgarity we lose our argument, not to mention our credibility. Your customary wit gave way to debasement.”
He added, “Hate speech has no place in our society, especially by an influencer like you. Humble contrition might save your job.”
In another instance he appeared to advocate for government intervention in regards to individuals who make comments he disagrees with.
Speaking on the firing of Roseanne, Cranston tweeted, “This morning Bob Iger quickly and easily determined that righteousness trumps profits by firing an open racist and anti-Semite from his company.”
“If our elected officials had the courage to do the same by declaring that country trumps partisanship we’d have a healthier society,” he added.
Cranston also lauded modern safe spaces in his interview with the the Los Angeles Times saying, “What is safe? Well, emotionally safe. Without judgment, safe. All-inclusive, safe. Empathetic, safe. And that’s what gives me hope with new generations.”
“Because it’s a beautiful thing to say, ‘We’re all entitled to be who we are without judgment,'” he expounded.
What do you make of Cranston’s comments?