Saturday, April 24, 2010

Freedom of Speech (part one)

For those of you who don't frequently check the news or see the news, South Park creators/writers are being threatened with death by a particular faction of the Muslim Community. Why? Because they had the Prophet Mohammad featured (though covered by a bear mascot suit) in their 201st episode.

This may be old news to some, I found out about it mid-week but never got the chance to make a formal comment about it until now.

Regardless, this brings up an issue of freedom of speech. Now, don't get me wrong, I respect the Muslim community and their wants for wishing their Prophet not be seen. But, a death threat is a bit far. South Park DID cover their prophet, so really I don't see the major issue.

I agree, it can be insulting to have your prophet or God made fun of. But, there was no death threat made by Christians when Jesus was featured various times. There was no threat made by Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise and various other celebrities when they were featured on the show.

Personally, I think the death threat is going just a bit too far. I can understand a request to censor said offensive material and I can understand a formal complaint to various networks regarding the episode. Again, a death threat is a bit much.

I'm not 100% brushed up on my Freedom of Speech laws, but I am fairly certain people have a right to say what they want. I know certain limitations (moral or otherwise) apply, but I am fairly certain that the punishment is NOT death if one does not follow those rules.

Freedom of Speech is important to every writer (television show or otherwise) and its a sorrowful day when a member of the writing community has their life threatened (or book banned) for something they said or did (even if it is South Park).

I will be posting a second part to 'Freedom of Speech' - hence the part one - that pertains more to novel-writing in the future. Until then, watch who you say what to. ;)

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