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Ariana Grande, Guillermo del Toro, Phoebe Bridgers and Gabrielle Union are among nearly 200 artists who signed an open letter calling on creatives in Hollywood and beyond to use their platform to challenge book bans, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Also on the list of signatories to the letter launched by Rainbow reading host LeVar Burton posted on the advocacy organization MoveOn Political Action’s website.
The letter states that the “restrictive behavior” of banning certain books in US school districts “is not only antithetical to free speech and expression, but has a chilling effect on the broader creative field.” The government cannot and must not interfere or dictate what people can produce, write, generate, read, listen to or consume.
Book banning has become a hot political topic in recent years, as various state and local governments seek to censor books dealing with marginalized identities and histories. “We cannot emphasize enough that these censorship efforts will not end with books being banned,” the letter continued. “It is only a matter of time before regressive and repressive ideologues turn to other forms of art and entertainment, to continue their attacks and efforts to scapegoat marginalized communities, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people.”
“We call on everyone to join us in raising their voices to defend artistic freedom, embrace multicultural history, and end book bans once and for all,” the message concludes.
View the full open letter, which you can also sign, here.