A host on a US news show is facing backlash on social media after suggesting that Bible characters will be the next victims of 'cancel culture'.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer made the remarks while discussing a review due to be undertaken in Chicago which will assess the historical backgrounds of 500 statues, sculptures, and other public landmarks to see if any should be renamed. The statues in question include five of former US president, Abraham Lincoln.
"I tell you, if they start cancelling these American presidents, they're going to come after Bible characters next," Hemmer said of the review. "Mark my words."
Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events said that various monuments and memorials "have become a focal point for conversation, protest and activism in the city" over recent times, and that, in response, it has "created a committee to review the city’s collection of monuments and recommend solutions".
The department added that the committee responsible for the review is seeking to "grapple with the often unacknowledged – or forgotten – history associated with the City's various municipal art collections" and aims to provide "a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago's racial history, confront the ways in which that history has and has not been memorialised and develop a framework for marking public space that elevates new ways to memorialize Chicago's true and complete history".
Many people responded to Hemmer's comments on Twitter. Some mocked him for his remarks, while others suggested that his use of the word "characters" indicated that he believed the Bible to be fictional.
"*Bible characters* Is he saying Jesus isn’t real?" one person asked. Another said: “Bible characters?" Do they believe the Bible to be a work of fiction?"
Others responded with a different take. "People have tried to cancel Jesus for two thousand years," read one comment. "They haven’t succeeded and they never will."