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"I want to know my kids will grow up free": David Tennant on slipping human rights protections

David Tennant speaks about starring in Good and the play's scary relevance today.

Photograph of David Tennant wearing a dress shirt, tie and slacks, sitting cross legged on a theater floor
Image credit: National Theater

At this year's Emerald City Comic Con Popverse’s own Tiffany Babb got to sit down with David Tennant for a wide-ranging fan Q&A. The conversation ranged from Doctor Who to Good Omens to Critical Role, all with Tennant’s signature cheer and playfulness.

But when the conversation shifted to Tennant's recent work in the West End play Good, in which Tennant played a 1930s professor of literature in Germany who slowly descends from being a good and loving man to a Nazi who embraces the Holocaust, Tennant had strong words to say about the state of society today.

“It’s very easy to look back on what happened in Germany in the ‘30s and say, 'Well obviously I wouldn’t do that',” Tennant explains. “But there are moments that we’re all living through right now where we see the status quo slipping."

As an example, Tennant pointed to the anti-Semitic comments of Kanye West, which happened during the run of the play, and other people’s apologetic defenses. “We see protections that were accepted as standard and immutable being challenged. As a father that scares me,” Tennant said. “I want to know that my kids will grow up free and able to be themselves and that nobody’s going to have a problem with that.”

Tennant acknowledged that it can be a challenge to have perspective on yourself while you’re living your life. “I think it can be difficult to know you’re living through history, when you’re going about your life and trying to survive, as we all are,” he said. “Sometimes knowing the moment when we all have to go ‘Enough and no farther’ is very difficult. I’m sure it’s a moment I have failed with and will continue to, but we all have to be alert to that, I think.”

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