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Levar Burton threatens Moms for Liberty at book award ceremony:


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Actor LeVar Burton made an incendiary comment against parental rights group, Moms for Liberty, while hosting the National Book Awards ceremony on Wednesday evening.

The former host of the beloved children’s television series, “Reading Rainbow,” made the dig at the group during his opening remarks.

“Are there any Moms for Liberty in the house? No?” he asked while surveying the room. Burton then joked he would fight the moms if they had been in attendance.

“Good! Then hands will not need to be thrown tonight,” he remarked, as audience members cheered and Burton chuckled.


photo of LeVar Burton

Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton took a shot at Moms for Liberty during the National Book Awards ceremony this week. (Getty Images)

The comment drew polarizing reactions on social media. The Moms for Liberty national chapter responded by accusing Burton of “threatening physical violence against women” in a post on X.

“American moms weep as a childhood favorite, Reading Rainbow, calls for physical attacks against us because we are protecting the innocence of our children. @levarburton, why have you sunk so low? Threatening physical violence against women?” the group wrote.

Moms for Liberty co-founder, Tiffany Justice, told Fox News Digital, “It is truly disheartening that somebody who has been so influential in the lives of children can stoop so low as to threaten their mothers. What are people like LeVar Burton trying to hide from us that it must come to physical violence to protect their agenda? We will not be deterred, we will continue to fight for our children at every step.”

Liberal critics have accused Moms for Liberty of driving book-banning efforts in school districts across the nation. 

The parental rights group has denied it is trying to ban books. The group, which has over 300 chapters across 48 states, is frequently behind parental challenges to sexually explicit books in school libraries. 

Tina Descovich

Moms for Liberty fired back at actor LeVar Burton, after he made a dig against the group at the National Book Awards. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Burton, a literacy advocate, served as the honorary chair of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, in October. In a press release for the event, Burton slammed efforts to remove books from libraries.

“Books bring us together. They teach us about the world and each other. The ability to read and access books is a fundamental right and a necessity for life-long success,” Burton said in the statement. “But books are under attack. They’re being removed from libraries and schools. Shelves have been emptied because of a small number of people and their misguided efforts toward censorship. Public advocacy campaigns like Banned Books Week are essential to helping people understand the scope of book censorship and what they can do to fight it,” he said.

In a statement ahead of the event, the National Book Awards said they expected to hear “political” or even “controversial” speeches from honorees.

“Political statements, if made, are by no means unprecedented in the history of the National Book Awards, or indeed any awards ceremony. We are working with the venue to ensure a safe environment for all our guests. We of course hope that everyone attending the National Book Awards, in person or tuning in online, comes in a spirit of understanding, compassion, and humanity—the very things that the books we love inspire,” the statement continued.


Burton’s comment wasn’t the only political message from the stage that night. While closing out the ceremony, over a dozen writers gathered on stage to demand a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. 

“On behalf of the finalists, we oppose the ongoing bombardment of Gaza and call for a humanitarian cease-fire to address the urgent humanitarian needs of Palestinian civilians, particularly children,” writer Aaliyah Bilal said. “We oppose antisemitism and anti-Palestinian sentiment and Islamophobia equally, accepting the human dignity of all parties, knowing that further bloodshed does nothing to secure lasting peace in the region.”

Fox News Digital reached out to LeVar Burton for comment but has yet to receive a response.

For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion, and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media.

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