teachable moment

LeVar Burton schools Meghan McCain on why being held accountable for bigotry isn’t “cancel culture”

LeVar Burton is a national treasure.

The Reading Rainbow host appeared on The View this week, where he was asked by Meghan McCain about “cancel culture” and the decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises last month to pull six of the iconic children’s book author’s titles from circulation because of racist and insensitive imagery.

“What do you think of that decision and about the cancel culture surrounding works of art or artists that are controversial?” John McCain’s daughter asked.

It was clear she was trying to instigate an argument. Unfortunately for her, Burton’s way too classy for that and didn’t take the bait.

Instead, he turned her ignorance into a teachable moment.

Related: Meghan McCain, who hates cancel culture, is blocking her critics left and right on Twitter

After praising Dr. Seuss himself for his contributions to children’s literature, saying he is “responsible for generations of wholesome, healthy, wonderful, creative content for children of all ages,” Burton explained why the term “cancel culture” is wrongly used to discredit accountability.

“I think it’s misnamed,” he said of the rightwing buzzword. “That’s a misnomer. I think we have a consequence culture, and that consequences are finally encompassing everybody in this society, whereas they haven’t been ever in this country.”

He added: “And I think it has everything to do with a new awareness by people who were simply unaware of the real nature of life in this country for people who have been othered since this nation began.”


Burton 1, McCain 0.

In addition to being an amazing role model and excellent educator, Burton has been a longtime ally for LGBTQ people.

He has worked with both the NOH8 campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. And in 2018, he blasted people who were upset about Bert and Ernie being gay lovers (a story Queerty broke, BTW), saying it’s a “very diverse world” and homophobic haters need to “check yourselves.”

Then there’s this tweet from 2016:

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.