FTRW 2012 – Oscar Censorship

No, not the seven-second delay when the documentary picture winner said “fuck” – that’s nothing.

Yesterday, I wrote about censorship from a more broad perspective than the usual FTRW topics of censorship of books (and DVD’s and graphic novels and so on.)  Today, I’d like to continue talking about bigger picture (er, no pun intended) censorship issues by looking at something that happened at the Oscars on Sunday night.

If you were following the telecast on Twitter and via other social media sites, you saw a huge amount of snark towards various aspects of the show including the weight and/or appearance of a number of celebrities (especially the females, whether it was Melissa McCarthy being too heavy or Angelina Jolie being too skinny.)

I oscillated between finding this distasteful and finding it hilarious.  But thinking of how it was Freedom to Read week and that censorship can come from the any direction (which we traditionally think of as left and right) including people who are being overly politically correct, (and as tough as it is to admit, especially on a national anti-bullying day) I think it is ultimately better that everyone be allowed to make their jokes about anything with no subject off-limits – weight, race, gener, religion, whatever.

I can’t remember but I think it was George Carlin who defended this approach by saying it’s always better when these things are out in the open instead of trying to hide them. I agree.

Of course, I also think of what Calgary Freedom to Read Award co-founder (and eventually recipient) Bob Stallworthy said, “Just because you have the right to offend someone, doesn’t mean you should.”

That’s very true.  But I’d rather that people have the right to tell Angelina Jolie to have a sandwich then not being allowed to say it at all.  Because goddammit, I’m not even joking when I say that woman needs a sandwich!

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