Industry News

Have We Grown Numb to Runaway Censorship?

Matisyahu gets canceled, again and too many press outlets look away

Another day, another artist learns the show won’t go on.

Matisyahu knows the feeling.

The rapper has already seen two of his 2024 gigs get canceled. Now, his sold-out show at Chicago’s House of Blues is off the schedule.

There’s little mystery in play.

Matisyahu is Jewish and supports Israel. Anti-semitism flowered after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks that left 1,200 Israelis dead and hundreds taken as hostages. It shows no sign of abating.

The singer’s cancelations came after a combination of protest threats and/or workers refusing to do their jobs when the singer came to town.

Let’s call it what it is. Cowardly. Hateful. Anti-American. Anti-free speech. Antisemitic.

And Matisyahu isn’t alone.

Actor/author Brett Gelman of “Stranger Things” fame saw several stops on his modest book store tour go belly up. Gelman is Jewish and a proud supporter of Israel. Earlier this week another Gelman appearance got shelved due to security issues.

Jewish actress Mayim Bialik of “Big Bang Theory” fame tried to host a one-on-one conversation with comedian and author Moshe Kasher last month at a PEN America event. Pro-Palestinian protesters proved so loud and disruptive the interview suffered serious, sizable delays.

See a trend? Need another?

The Bialik protest gathered almost no press coverage ( was a welcome exception.)

The Gelman cancellations drew modest media attention but most major players (WaPo, CNN, The New York Times) ignored them.

Matisyahu’s cancellations have generated more coverage, but the major entertainment sites (Variety, The Wrap, The Hollywood Reporter) looked the other way. Most conservative media outlets did the same, with The Daily Wire and Breitbart News providing two exceptions.

Free speech is under attack elsewhere. 

Four veteran comedians lost their gigs at a Seattle comedy club a few weeks ago after the booker heard backlash from members of the community. That story got very little attention at first. HiT was one of the only outlets to cover it for several days.

It still didn’t get much play from conservative press save Fox News.

Last year, Candace Owens tried, and failed, to screen her searing documentary, “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold” at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Protests, again, prevented the film from being seen on campus.

HiT followed the CCSU “investigation” into the culprits who shut down free speech, but the college would not reveal what if any repercussions the instigators faced.

That story got microscopic media attention.


Free speech is under furious attack across western culture.

  • The Twitter Files
  • The Biden White House
  • Cancel Culture
  • Social media platforms

Could that explain the lack of media coverage, let alone outrage for the previous cancelations? It’s now a dog-bites-man story.

We’re becoming numb to artists crushed by the “heckler’s veto.” The average American may be exhausted by the terrible headlines, knowing few cultural institutions are fighting the good fight.

Institutions that once would fight like hell for all of the above, like the ACLU, no longer raise an eyebrow when events like this occur. FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression) has stepped up at precisely the right time.

Even some conservative outlets, typically brave when it comes to defending speech, haven’t covered all the cancelations.

Suffice it to say the artistic community with rare exceptions (John Ondrasik, Rob Schneider, John Cleese and Bill Maher, among a select few) is silent on the matter.

The weekend’s Oscars ceremony was mercifully brief on political lectures, but seeing stars speak out for free speech isn’t political. It’s literally what makes their job possible.

They stayed silent on the subject.

The press can’t be counted on to rally on behalf of free speech. It’s up to everyday Americans to take a stand, summon our collective outrage and do something, anything to address the matter.

We’ll miss free speech when it’s gone.


  1. Maybe the reason conservative news outlets aren’t covering these things any more is that they’ve become so commonplace that they aren’t really “news” any more. “Dog barks” isn’t really a news story because it’s common and expected. I was going to add “plane lands safely” as well, but given the state of today’s air travel, I don’t know if we can safely assume that any more.
    Welcome to the brave new world, y’all.

  2. All mainstream media is run by giant corporations in bed with the democrat communist party. It’s not surprising free speech is going the way of the dodo. It’s not going to change sadly. Globalists, megacorps, far left politics. All dooming our planet into an elite/servant class worldwide.

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