Censorship - Spotlight on Film

Document Date: August 30, 2006

Should the government ever have the authority to dictate to its citizens what they may or may not listen to, read, or watch?

Provocative art and in-your-face entertainment put our commitment to free speech to the test. Why should we oppose censorship when scenes of murder and mayhem dominate the TV screen, when some art can be seen as a direct insult to religious beliefs, and when much sexually explicit material can be seen as degrading to women? Why not let the majority's morality and taste dictate what others can look at or listen to?

The answer is simple, and timeless: a free society is based on the principle that each and every individual has the right to decide what art or entertainment he or she wants -- or does not want -- to receive or create. Once you allow the government to censor someone else, you cede to it the the power to censor you, or something you like. Censorship is like poison gas: a powerful weapon that can harm you when the wind shifts.

Freedom of expression for ourselves requires freedom of expression for others. It is the very heart of our democracy.


> VIDEO: IFC News Covers ACLU Screening
> Filmmakers and Free Speech Groups Host "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" Screening in Manhattan (8/30/2006)
> This Film Is Not Yet Rated - About the Film

> National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)
> Wielding the Red Pen (from the University of Virginia Library)
> Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
> Ideological Exclusion: Censorship at the Border
> First Amendment Project
> The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
> Creative Voices - Podcasts
> The Captain's Blog (IFC)

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