Hollywood has been mostly silent on the wave of censorship washing over the culture.
Consider the following examples in the arts alone.
- “The French Connection,” an Oscar-winning classic, got snipped to remove an offensive word
- Books by Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming got a sensitivity reader “upgrade”
- Films and TV shows with problematic content have been erased in the public arena
- Comedians fear the loss of their careers for telling the “wrong” jokes
It’s just a partial list, but it’s damning all the same. And that doesn’t include Big Tech censors restricting both comedy and free speech across YouTube, TikTok, Facebook and more.
There has never been a time where the ones who were censoring free speech were the good guys.” @RobertKennedyJr
This podcast was posted April 6 on YouTube and censored on August 23.
Thank you to @elonmusk and X for being a safeguard of free speech.
Empire is making its move.… pic.twitter.com/LLrtnjrlWY
— Aubrey Marcus (@AubreyMarcus) September 19, 2023
Celebrities routinely weigh in on subjects they have little to no expertise on, from border enforcement to gun control. Their livelihoods depend on free expression, yet most are stone silent on the subject.
The exceptions include:
- Bill Maher
- Joe Rogan
- Rob Schneider
- John Cleese
- Nick Searcy
And, to a lesser extent, both Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg
Now, a gaggle of stars is skewering so-called “book bans” happening across the nation.
Upwards of 175 actors, musicians, authors, comedians, reality stars, models, media personalities, academics, activists and more have signed the open letter spearheaded by Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton and published Tuesday via public advocacy organization and political action committee MoveOn Political Action.
That’s your first clue the mission is politically motivated. MoveOn.org is a progressive body that promotes Democratic causes.
Why make censorship a political matter?
One, many of the “book bans” in question involved sexually graphic tomes that have no business being in a school setting. Conservatives are trying to protect children from inappropriate material, while Democrats want this filth in schools nationwide.
SHOCK: VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED!
Senator John Kennedy reads GRAPHIC and SEXUALLY EXPLICIT EXCERPTS from books that Democrats complain about being banned and confronts left-wing activists about allowing them in schools and libraries. pic.twitter.com/50RdU9C37k
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 12, 2023
Two, the conservative movement has embraced free speech as a core principle in the modern era. The Left, the former champions of free expression, now favors hate speech restrictions and looks the other way as the U.S. government censors American citizens.
The next time you watch college students shout down a conservative speaker consider which party they call home.
There’s only one answer. And they’re proud of it.
And when social media giants like Facebook and Twitter banned President Donald Trump three years ago, many celebrities cheered the move.
Here is a partial list of the actors involved in the new “book banning” statement.
Mark Ruffalo, Billy Porter, Chelsea Handler, Constance Wu, John Leguizamo, Christie Brinkley, Angie Thomas, Raquel Willis, Idina Menzel, Roxane Gay, Adina Porter, Judy Blume, Busy Philipps, Garbage, Jodi Picoult, Natasha Rothwell, Andy Cohen, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Abigail Disney, Jazz Jennings, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ian Black, Sharon Stone, Judd Apatow, Nikki Giovanni, Alyssa Milano, Bill Nye, Zooey Deschanel, Patton Oswalt, Aisha Tyler, Natasha Lyonne, Maia Kobabe, Zoe Lister-Jones, Alok and Ava Max.
How many of those stars have spoken out against sensitivity readers? Big Tech censorship? The Biden administration’s censorship regime? Attacks on comedians for telling the “wrong” jokes?
None, to this reporter’s knowledge. If that is incorrect please share the details in the comments section.
Heck, Disney tried to censor “Jihad Rehab,” a film she previously championed after the woke mob targeted it for extinction.
It’s one thing for Hollywood stars to remain silent on modern censorship. It’s gross, but we can’t force celebrities to speak out on every issue of the day, even one that directly impacts their art form.
For some of these same stars to rally behind a politically charged effort that ignores the larger, toxic threat to free speech is something far more insidious.