Hollywood Must Support Free Speech - Even the Ugly Kind

When Bill Maher's "Religulous" hit theaters in 2008, no one rioted, stormed any embassies or demanded the film's anti-religious themes should be removed from movie houses or the Internet.

This week, a crude anti-Muslim movie is having just that effect, and Hollywood needs to take a stand on the matter.

No, the film itself likely doesn't deserve any huzzahs. It appears to be crudely made production that wouldn't stand a chance in stateside theaters.

So what?

The creative community's veritable silence on this issue is telling. Maher's peers didn't urge him to prevent "Religulous" from reaching the masses. Filmmakers have a right to say what they wish through film, and it's the public's choice how to handle the content.

Ignore it. Boycott it. Applaud it. Or, best of all, talk about it.

The release of "Innocence of Muslims" strikes at the heart of freedom of speech. We often hear actors bemoan the McCarthy Era's impact on Hollywood, and of course they have a solid case. So where those same passionate defenders of freedom now? Are they lighting up Twitter defending the filmmaker's right to say what he pleases no matter the content? Do they want directors to critique Christianity ... but not Islam?

The filmmaker behind the incendiary project is currently in hiding.

Standing up behind the folks responsible for "Muslims" isn't easy. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be done.



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