Gabrielle Union, Ariana Grande & More A-List Celebs Wrote a Scathing Open Letter Denouncing This Controversial Legislation

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Nearly 200 celebrities, musicians, authors, comedians, reality stars, models, media personalities, academics, and activists banded together and spoke out about the horrific practice of banning books in schools. Because hell yeah they did!

The letter was spearheaded by LeVar Burton (AKA the beloved host of Reading Rainbow) and published by the public advocacy group, MoveOn Political Action. It speaks to the “chilling effect” of the “restrictive behavior” that is “antithetical to free speech and expression.”

“We cannot stress enough how these censorious efforts will not end with book bans. It’s only a matter of time before regressive, suppressive ideologues will shift their focus toward other forms of art and entertainment, to further their attacks and efforts to scapegoat marginalized communities, particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks,” reads the letter that Ariana Grande, Gabrielle Union, Guillermo del Toro, Padma Lakshmi, Amanda Morgan, Margaret Cho, and more have signed.

These celebrities and other signatories agreed they would “refuse to remain silent” as these “oppressive bans” are being pushed by “draconian politicians” like Republican Ron DeSantis who want to “uphold a homophobic, transphobic, and white supremacist vision of our nation.”

“It’s embarrassing that we are banning books in this country, in this culture, in this day and age. And it’s dangerous that a handful of individuals are deciding that any book with Black and queer people is divisive,” Burton said. “We are calling on everyone to join us in raising their voices to uphold artistic freedom, embrace multicultural history, and put a stop once and for all to book bans.”

People can read and sign the letter — which has also been signed by Mark Ruffalo, Billy Porter, Chelsea Handler, Constance Wu, Christie Brinkley, Idina Menzel, Judy Blume, Busy Philipps, Jodi Picoult, Andy Cohen, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Margaret Atwood, Judd Apatow, Alyssa Milano, Bill Nye, and Zooey Deschanel — HERE.

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Not only do we refuse to accept these bans, but we make it a point to read banned books in our homes, even when it’s just to itty bitty babies. Which is why we are obsessed with the Baby’s First Book of Banned Books board book. It teaches kids about banned books and their themes at an early age, much to the dismay of DeSantis.

This “rebellious” board book includes lessons from The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Giving Tree, The Kite Runner, and more.

“This was a great book that allows you to subtly introduce your baby to concepts that are introduced in many banned books,” one shopper said. “On every page you not only get a concept introduced, but you also get a corresponding book that you can refer to. The book is subtle and as your child gets older, as a parent, you will have to do more to explore the topics, but for a baby, this is a great way to start this journey.”

These YA and children’s books have been banned or challenged often, but we think they’re essential to read with your kids.

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