LeVar Burton attends the National Book Awards ceremony on Wednesday in New York.
LeVar Burton hosted the 74th National Book Awards on Wednesday and during his opening speech, he took a jab at the right-wing group Moms for Liberty.
“Before we get going, are there any Moms for Liberty in the house?” Burton asked, while the New York audience laughed. “Moms for Liberty? No? Good. Then hands will not need to be thrown tonight.”
"Before we get going, are there any Moms for Liberty in the house? No? Good. then hands will not need to be thrown tonight."
Host LeVar Burton kicks off this year's National Book Awards ceremony. #NBAwardspic.twitter.com/tQtLj8azGS
— Publishers Weekly (@PublishersWkly) November 16, 2023
Burton, who hosted the children’s show “Reading Rainbow” for over two decades, has been outspoken about his disgust for Moms for Liberty. The extremist group has described itself as defending “parental rights” in government while also seeking to have books removed from libraries. During last week’s U.S. elections, Moms for Liberty set out to take over various school boards but ultimately wasn’t successful.
In an Esquire interview published Wednesday, Burton said he was “thrilled” that “hardly any candidates backed by Moms for Liberty won their races.”
“These are people who would rather children not know the truth,” Burton told Esquire. “Those kids will never know what they’re missing, but it’s our job to stand up for them, to be their voices and their advocates. That’s what being an elder in this society means to me.”
During a 2022 appearance on “The View,” Burton said it’s “embarrassing” that people are trying to ban books in America.
“We have this aversion in this country to knowing about our past. And anything that is unpleasant, we don’t want to deal with,” he said at the time. “This is not going away. Nothing goes away, especially if you ignore it. So, read the books they’re banning. That’s where the good stuff is. If they don’t want you to read it, there’s a reason why.”