J.K. Rowling, Bari Weiss and Noam Chomsky Among Dozens to Sign Open Letter Calling for End to Cancel Culture


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J.K. Rowling, Bari Weiss, Noam Chomsky, and more than 100 other writers, scholars, and academics signed a letter in Harper’s Magazine calling for “open debate” and an end to cancel culture, sparking backlash from both liberal and conservative pundits.

The letter addressed the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests and calls to defund the police — acknowledging that the demands are over due while warning against cancel culture and being intolerant of differences.

“But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity,” the letter read. “The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.”

The letter warned that liberals are forming their own version of censorship, one that President Donald Trump and “right-wing demagogues” thrive off of.

“This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time,” the letter added. “The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation.”

Pundits and journalists from both sides took to Twitter to call out the letter’s hypocrisy, some highlighting that Harper’s has fired writers for controversial opinions, and others noting that those who signed took no issue when “cancel culture” came after conservatives.

Some pointed out that those who signed the letter are reacting to disagreement and debate sparked by their own words and opinions, calling it “self-pitying.”


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