This past Friday, November 16th, was the 74th Annual National Book Awards, with host LeVar Burton at the helm. The Reading Rainbow star quickly went viral on the Internet after he made a joke about the conservative group Moms For Liberty.
“Before we get going, are there any Moms for Liberty in the house?” Burton asks, doing a quick scan of the room. “Moms for Liberty? No? Good.” He laughs, smiling at the crowd. “Then hands will not need to be thrown tonight.”
The witty comment drew laughs from the audience in attendance at the awards ceremony, as well as thousands of people online.
Moms For Liberty is a conservative group that has led the charge on book bans across the United States, an antithesis to Burton, who himself has advocated for literacy amongst children and adults for decades. To his fans, Burton’s sly remark is no surprise and even a pleasant reminder that he’s tuned into the current attack on children’s books across America.
Mom’s for Liberty Responds
However, some didn’t take lightly to Burton’s comments, quickly claiming offense.
Moms for Liberty took to their X account to accuse Burton of calling “for physical attacks against us because we are protecting the innocence of our children.”
Although Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice doubled down on the group’s initial comments, a majority of the Internet has come to Burton’s defense.
“How awful do you have to be for LeVar Burton to call you out,” comments Defense of Democracy on X.
To many, LeVar Burton is the person who encouraged them to foster their love of reading as children. Now, those children have become grown adults who recognize all Burton has done for them and literacy in America, and they are ready to go to bat for Burton whenever and wherever.
Click here to read our previous article covering LeVar Burton as host for the National Book Awards.