Actor Rowan Atkinson causes controversy after calling Boris Johnson’s burqa comment a “pretty good” joke
Rowan Atkinson has defended Johnson for his comments, for which he has since apologised.
Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson sparked outrage on Monday after saying that he found burqas, the covering worn by some Muslim women, to be "oppressive". He also asked why they would "go around looking like letter boxes" and compared them to "bank robbers".
He added: "In Britain today there is only a tiny, tiny minority of women who wear these odd bits of headgear. One day, I am sure, they will go."
Johnson’s comments followed Denmark introducing a ban on burqas in public places.
The remarks faced harsh criticism, and he was asked by Conservative party chairman, Brandon Lewis, to apologise.
— Brandon Lewis (@BrandonLewis) August 7, 2018
Comedian Rowan Atkinson, best known for his roles in Blackadder, Mr. Bean and Johnny English, has defended Johnson.
The comedian wrote to The Times newspaper to say that all jokes about religion “cause offence”, and he should not have to apologise.
"As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion, I do think that Boris Johnson's joke about wearers of the burka resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one," Atkinson wrote.
"All jokes about religion cause offence, so it's pointless apologising for them. You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required."
As you might expect, Atkinson's letter has caused controversy itself.
So privately educated Rowan Atkinson (net worth £100m), whose older brother Rodney (a big pal of Norris McWhirter) narrowly lost the UKIP leadership election in 2000, has come out in support of Johnson's comments about Muslim women's dress.
Amazed to hear this. Just amazed.
— Elinor Elliot #FBPE (@ElliotElinor) August 10, 2018
Saw that Rowan Atkinson was trending and thought he was either dead or racist. Turns out he's just dead racist. 🙄
— .::AJ (@ajhuxlee) August 10, 2018
Hearing that Rowan Atkinson who is neither female or a Muslim doesn’t find what Johnson says offensive has really made me rethink my view 🙄
— Rhythm of Zat Knight 🔴⚫️⚪️ (@93rdmin) August 9, 2018