British actress Cathy Tyson, renowned for her role in the 1986 hit film “Mona Lisa,” recently took a stand against the use of the term “woke,” equating it with the offensiveness of racial slurs. In an interview with the Telegraph, where she spoke about the role of race and identity in the entertainment industry, she went into why she has a problem with the term.
“I imagine some of the readership use the word ‘woke.’ For me, it’s as bad a term as an offensive racial slur,” she told the conservative publication, which she said she would have been reluctant to engage with in the past given its political leaning.
"Woke" is now a slur. pic.twitter.com/Gnhkxr8Wgt
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 26, 2023
Aside from the term “woke,” Tyson went on to express discomfort with phrases like “race card,” deeming them deeply offensive. According to her, the term “race card” is often used to silence criticism, while “woke” is employed to “undermine” and shut down progressive ideals.
“Even the term’ white privilege’ is very, very divisive. I’m not about sides,” she remarked, revealing that her later pursuit of an English degree broadened her perspective, enabling her to embrace different viewpoints.
Tyson’s personal experiences growing up in Toxteth, a neighborhood marked by racial tensions and the infamous 1981 riots, influenced her perspective, as suggested by the interview.
“My mother was called, you know, a ‘N-lover,’ by certain people,” she shared, as she revealed that she was born to a white mother and a Trinidadian father. She emphasized that her upbringing was marked by challenges, with tensions between various communities, including Catholics and Protestants, as well as racial divisions.
She also noted the current struggles faced by people of all backgrounds, stating, “How do we all get on together? It’s complex, there’s a lot of people of all colors who are suffering financially, who are hungry, at the moment.”
Tyson’s interview and opinion on the term “woke” was largely met with criticism on social media as users suggested she is triggered by the word because she is indeed “woke.”
Cathy sounds woke. https://t.co/JErxlY4vQ1
— Ministry of Truth (@MinistryofTru16) September 26, 2023
Only a woke person would say that. 😛 https://t.co/jDVMz96EZL
— Richard Wons (@RichardWonsJr) September 26, 2023