LeVar Burton dropped by The View on Thursday where he was greeted with an overwhelming standing ovation by the audience who was palpably thrilled to have the iconic TV personality in the studio. The crowd was so pumped that Ana Navarro couldn’t help but quip that she hopes the “people at Jeopardy!” are watching.
As a beloved fixture in children’s television thanks to his work on Reading Rainbow, which is featured in a new documentary, Burton was asked his thoughts on the recent increase in banned books as conservative groups target “critical race theory” and LGBTQ representation. A fired up Burton called it exactly as he sees it. Via The Wrap:
“Bulls—,” he replied bluntly. “I’ll be absolutely candid and honest, it’s embarrassing that we are banning books in this country, in this culture, in this day and age. We have this aversion in this country to knowing about our past. And anything that is unpleasant, we don’t want to do deal with.”
Burton then added that, just because something’s unpleasant, doesn’t mean it should be ignored. In fact, ignoring it only allows it to persist.
“This is not going away. Nothing goes away, especially if you ignore it,” he added. “So read the books they’re banning. That’s where the good stuff is. If they don’t want you to read it, there’s a reason why.”
Despite The View censors working quickly to bleep the word “bullsh*t” for daytime audiences, Burton quickly started trending on Twitter as some people couldn’t believe his choice of words. However, he stood by his remarks later that evening.
“I said what I meant and I meant what I said!” Burton tweeted along with a clip of the now viral moment.
I said what I meant and I meant what I said! https://t.co/pdA0oSxcsn
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) June 10, 2022
While others clutched their pearls over Burton saying a “bad word,” others rushed to his defense and said the iconic TV personality was right on the money. Even Wonder Woman jumped in.
— Lynda Carter ☮️ (@RealLyndaCarter) June 10, 2022
— C. Nelson (@Denali99) June 9, 2022
LeVar Burton rules! Banning books is bullshit, man! It's just bullshit. https://t.co/XeknEtNlkQ
— Benjamin Ahr Harrison (@BenjaminAhr) June 10, 2022
I’ll save you a click. @levarburton, the man who helped millions of kids learn to read, described the current efforts of book banning as “bullsh*t.” That’s it. That’s the “scandal.” He spoke honestly on @TheView about an issue that he cares about. And he was 100% right. https://t.co/7hx4ieWOKu
— April (@ReignOfApril) June 9, 2022
Umm… Levar Burton didn't make a "blunder" on The View… he was asked about book banning and he said it was "bullshit".
— 🐺Storm Faerywolf🌻 (@StormFaerywolf) June 9, 2022
Levar Burton literally inspired me to read as a young boy, when almost no one else did. He taught me to explore, challenge and question norms, and he made it fun. This cat’s a legend. We need more of this. https://t.co/zSnsnbg0Bg
— Joshua Gale (@joshuagale75) June 10, 2022
The SUN makes it sound as if @levarburton misspoke or embarrassed himself. The man—who has spent his life making the world better, one children’s book at a time—called banning books for children “bullshit.” Because it’s bullshit. That’s not a blunder. It’s a fact. pic.twitter.com/6mb26zluBH
— William Ritter (@Willothewords) June 9, 2022
here's the thing about levar burton
sometimes you grow up and your childhood heroes turn out not to be so great
they stay heroes. pic.twitter.com/YVDbzCGE75
— LJV (@elljayvalentine) June 10, 2022
We’re with Ana Navarro. Jeopardy! let a real one slip through their fingers here.
(Via The Wrap)