Laurence Fox

The pitfalls of wrongthink

[Getty Images]

First they came for the statues, then Basil Fawlty got ‘cancelled’ and three spoiled millionaires turned on their creator. So it was with J.K. Rowling’s woke progeny. Harry Potter, it would seem, is deathly shallow. Rupert Grint looked for a moment like holding firm, but he too quickly succumbed to the growing pressure to slip his golden dagger between Rowling’s shoulder blades. Surely these rich list regulars are perfectly placed to say what they actually think, protected from the ever-tightening vice of censorship? Apparently not. Fearing for their virtue or their future or both, the three children rounded on their mother. We must hope for better from Neville Longbottom.

I, too, have come to the conclusion that I may never get an acting job again without expressing ‘correct’ opinions. While this probably isn’t the end of the world for you, it is a cause of some sadness and anxiety for me. Not least because I’ve always loved my job and also because I have two children who need dinner and clothes and a holiday once in a while. In my job there is a lot of waiting around and a lot of banter and more serious conversations that take place on set. Until very recently, my views on life were met mostly with good humour and, if not always agreed with, always respectfully tolerated.

The genesis of this rather bleak view of my prospects came after my appearance on Question Time, where I voiced (slightly exasperatedly) a heresy that I’m fairly confident is held by a sizeable proportion of the population. The heresy was that, far from being hounded out by the baying racists of this statistically very tolerant and diverse country, Meghan Markle might, just might, have left for other reasons. Having spent years around actors, a fairly common trait is an enormous ego and the desire to be the centre of attention.

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