July 24, 2018

James Gunn

James Gunn

Source: Gage Skidmore

If you think the key to ending leftist speech suppression is advocating additional speech suppression, you’re beyond help. As we’ve seen in Europe, leftists know that their beloved censorship laws sometimes inadvertently penalize leftists, and they’re fine with that. The odd lefty getting prosecuted or fined for a speech violation is acceptable collateral damage in the name of a “greater good.”

See, here’s the key point. When a major leftist A-lister like Gunn is punished for speech, the right goes “Serves you right! Sweet revenge!” But the general public, and other figures in the entertainment industry, go “Oh shit, if that can happen to him, I’d better shut the hell up and never say anything even slightly controversial.”

So go ahead, cheer James Gunn’s destruction. You want Europe? That’s how you’ll get Europe. People scared to speak freely, people frightened to crack a joke. If that’s what you want, I don’t care if you’re on “my side.” Fuck off.

And speaking of Europe, Bjarni Gautur is an Icelandic comedian and filmmaker who works for Troma, the company where Gunn got his start. Bjarni is a good friend of mine, and the day the Gunn story broke, I noticed that we were among the few in our circle actively protesting what happened to the guy. I asked him, from his perspective as a European, why he felt it was important to defend Gunn.

Europe is known for its censorship. Count Dankula is of course the biggest name in the world of people being arrested or charged with hate crimes for telling jokes, but as a European I always looked at the US as the bastion of freedom, especially when it came to speech. It’s kinda hard seeing people, on both sides now, acting this way. People on the right were pretty quick to defend Roseanne and even Trump for his “grab ’em by the pussy” comments, but now a lot of people on the right are acting like hypocrites when the person saying offensive stuff is someone on the left. We shouldn’t celebrate people losing their jobs because they said jokes, regardless of their political affiliation. And I think Americans need to take a good hard look at countries in Europe where people get arrested for opinions or jokes and ask themselves if that’s something they want to push for the US.

I think stuff like this will lead to a lot of self-censorship, which I don’t think is the way to go. It’s one thing to get angry at people who do horrendous acts, but in a world where we can’t joke about them, it’s very hard for the smaller production companies to do hard-hitting social commentary, which is what usually puts them on the map. Everybody is acting like such a puritan these days. It’s pretty ridiculous.


A lefty like James Gunn will never appreciate any support given to him by people on the right. But so what? This isn’t about him. Let him be a dick. All that matters is that every time an entertainer is banished and banned due to “speech crimes,” we inch closer to being Europe. The Overton window that closes another few inches on James Gunn closes on us, too.

Yeah, it’s fun to see a leftist jerk suffer. But forgive me for thinking that such “fun” isn’t worth the fact that, as we cheer a hypocrite’s lynching, we’ve just tightened the noose around our own necks, too.

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