Celebrated actor LeVar Burton threw some shade at the conservative Moms For Liberty group during a recent speech, causing the group to protest his words online.
On Wednesday (Nov. 15), LeVar Burton began his opening remarks as the host of the 74th National Book Awards & Benefit Dinner, which was held in New York City. “I had the tremendous honor of serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the 70th National Book Awards in 2019 and it genuinely means the world to me to join you all on this stage to celebrate the importance of literature to our shared culture, Burton began. “Before we get going, are there any Moms for Liberty in the house? Moms for Liberty? No? Good! Then hands will not need to be thrown tonight.”
The conservative group, who have made it their mission to advocate against books that have topics such as sexuality, race and gender being in school libraries, decided to take that as a threat by Burton and wrote as much in a post on X, formerly Twitter, soon after word of that part of the speech made the rounds on the Internet.
“American moms weep as a childhood favorite, Reading Rainbow, calls for physical attacks against us because we are protecting the innocence of our children,” the post began before calling Burton out by name asking him “why have you sunk so low? Threatening physical violence against women?” The post has gained traction among the right-wing media establishment and has also caught the attention of a few far-right personalities.
American moms weep as a childhood favorite, Reading Rainbow, calls for physical attacks against us because we are protecting the innocence of our children. @levarburton, why have you sunk so low? Threatening physical violence against women? https://t.co/qui0iP3McW
— Moms for Liberty (@Moms4Liberty) November 16, 2023
The Star Trek: The Next Generation actor has been highly vocal about supporting literary freedom. He replaced Drew Barrymore as the event host after the National Book Awards retracted their invitation to the television host in the wake of her decision to resume production of her show during the SAG-AFTRA strike. “On the home front, we are fighting for control of truth and how we interpret truth in this country,” LeVar Burton said during his speech. “Books are being banned, words are being silenced, and writers and others who champion books are under attack.”