Ariana Grande, Ava Max among stars signing open letter against book bans

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Ariana Grande and Ava Max are just two of the more than 175 celebrities — including actors, musicians, authors, comedians, reality stars and more — who have signed an open letter denouncing book bans in U.S. school districts.

The project is spearheaded by LeVar Burton, host of Reading Rainbow, and was published on September 19 by the political action committee MoveOn. “As artists, creators, entertainers, and activists, we recognize and are horrified by the threat of censorship in the form of book bans,” the letter begins.

“This restrictive behavior is not just antithetical to free speech and expression but has a chilling effect on the broader creative field,” it continues. “The government cannot and should not create any interference or dictate what people can produce, write, generate, read, listen to, or consume.”

The letter warns that such bans, championed by “far-right politicians,” according to the MoveOn website, might lead to banning other forms of art and entertainment in an attempt to “scapegoat marginalized communities, particularly LGBTQ+ and BIPOC folks.”

The letter concludes with an invitation for everyone to sign it and “push back” against the book bans, adding, “There is power in artistic freedom, and we refuse to allow draconian politicians to take that from us.”

In addition to Ari and Ava, other signees include Natasha Lyonne, Mark Ruffalo, Chelsea Handler, Sharon Stone, Zooey Deschanel, Constance Wu, Christine Brinkley, authors Judy Blume and Jodi Picoult, Idina Menzel, Bill Nye, John Leguizamo, Patton Oswalt, Padma Lakshmi and many, many more.

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