'To mock the truth, you have to know the truth': Idris Elba rejects censorship of 'racist' TV shows

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 02: Idris Elba speaks onstage at Netflix's 'Turn Up Charlie' For Your Consideration event at Pacific Design Center on March 02, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
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Idris Elba has called on TV networks to stop censoring shows with "racist" content and introduce a rating system to educate viewers on outdated practices.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests against systemic racism worldwide, sitcoms including Little Britain, which see stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams use blackface make-up in some sketches, were recently dropped from streaming services including Netflix. Episodes from shows such as Golden Girls, Scrubs, and 30 Rock have also been removed due to racially insensitive content.

However, speaking to Radio Times magazine, Idris insisted he's "very much a believer in freedom of speech," and called on executives to introduce a ratings system warning viewers that a film or show has outdated viewpoints rather than getting rid of the controversial content.

While not referring to a specific programme, he said: "To mock the truth, you have to know the truth. But to censor racist themes within a show, to pull it... I think viewers should know that people made shows like this.

"Commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time - fair enough and good for you... But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they're getting into."

"I don't believe in censorship," the Luther actor added. "I believe that we should be allowed to say what we want to say. Because, after all, we're story-makers."

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