In a new interview with The Sun, legendary QUEEN guitarist Brian May talked about the cancel culture, saying it creates a “very uncomfortable” environment.
He reached the topic while addressing the Brit Awards’ decision to make its categories gender-neutral.
“I feel very uncomfortable about some of the decisions that are being made, often out of fear. Because people are so afraid of being called out. It is a horrible atmosphere.
“I get so sick of people trying to change things without thinking of the long-term consequences. Some of these things are improvements and some are not. Some of them are depriving people. I would like to see a lot more care taken to make sure we don’t just jump on people and accuse them of this and that.”
On whether he thinks female performers will miss out again thanks to the gender-neutral move, May said: “I honestly don’t know if it disadvantages one group but it’s a decision that has been made without a lot of thought. I don’t know what the long-term consequences are.
“A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone,” he continued. I think some things need to go back. What matters is justice and equality of opportunity, no matter who you are, and that is actually not happening at the moment as everyone is jumping to conclusions and everyone is scared of doing the wrong thing. I do find it very uncomfortable. I don’t think things are going very well, I have to say.”
On what he would like to see in the future, May said: “I want to see people start to understand each other in the new year and recognize the differences there are between us. Between our color, between our sex, and between our talents and celebrate the differences…
“I am sure if QUEEN started now we would be forced to have people of different colors and different sexes and a trans [person], but life doesn’t have to be like that. We can be separate and different. Our generation made a lot of bad mistakes but not everybody in our generation was wrong and not everybody in this generation is right.
“A lot of people from our generation who are being called out for this have actually done a lot of good in their lives,” May added. “The young people who are doing this will find that the same thing happens to them — people will be calling them out and they will be bewildered. I just pray for more understanding between us… I worry about cancel culture. I think some of it is good but it also brings bad things and injustices. We think in different ways but they weren’t necessarily worse ways.
“For instance, Freddie wasn’t white but nobody cared. He was a musician. He was our friend, our brother. We didn’t have to stop and think, ‘Oh should we work with him? Is he the right color or the right sex?’ It is frightening that people have to be so calculated about things. To me it is dangerous.
“There is an atmosphere of fear everywhere because people are afraid to say how they really think. I think there is a pressure building up as so many people are feeling, ‘Hang on. This isn’t quite right,’ but they don’t dare say anything.
“I think eventually there will be some kind of explosion,” he states. “Social media makes it worse. It can be good but it can be very dangerous. It’s sad. It’s easy to be a bully if you are in the comfort of your own home behind a screen. Keyboard warriors and all that stuff.”