FPI / October 29, 2019
“Since 1776, free speech has never been less protected than today,” radio host and WorldTribune columnist Dennis Prager said.
Prager, best-selling author and founder of Prager University, and comedian Adam Carolla co-star in “No Safe Spaces”, a documentary which exposes the Left’s assault on free speech. After a successful premier on Oct. 25, the film opens in dozens of theaters nationwide this week.
Prager has called the film a “wake-up call” to the American people and claimed free speech is being trampled on to satisfy a political agenda.
Carolla said in a Fox News interview that the goal of the new documentary is to simply “make people aware of how nuts it is out there on campuses and in the media when it comes to censorship based on feelings” rather than facts and information.
As the film was set to debut in Phoenix on Oct. 25, lawyers for the nonprofit Prager University were battling Google in a California courtroom. YouTube, owned by Google, has restricted more than 200 of Prager University’s educational videos, which the nonprofit in its lawsuit against Google contends amounts to viewpoint discrimination.
“YouTube continues to restrict more and more PragerU videos, and they have never given us a logical or rational answer as to why,” said Craig Strazzeri, chief marketing officer for Prager University. “It’s obvious it’s because of our conservative ideology. We’ve had more than 600,000 Americans sign a petition saying they don’t think our videos should be restricted.”
“No Safe Spaces” briefly examines online censorship, but the main focus of the film, employing both conservative and liberal voices, is defending free expression on college campuses.
“I want every student on campus to be physically safe,” says CNN host and Obama administration official Van Jones in the film. “But if you mean emotionally safe? I don’t know why you’re in college.” Producers said comments by Jones about the coddling of students through safe spaces played a role in deciding on the film’s title.
“There are a lot of liberals in it — and that’s what gives us hope,” said Prager. “Seeing a liberal agree with our assessment of the greatest threat in America, conservatives should cheer. Do we want allies, or do we want to feel good? I am only interested in doing good, not feeling good.”
Prager added: “If you think clearly, you could be a liberal or you could be a conservative — but you cannot be a leftist. Leftism can only indoctrinate the naïve. You have to be a child to buy this stuff. Though you could be a 50-year-old child, as many professors and many writers at the New York Times are; that’s why they rant and scream.”
“No Safe Spaces”, directed by Mark Joseph, “takes audiences on a road trip to several U.S. universities where campus riots, at times violent, break out against invited conservative speakers,” Josh Shepherd wrote for The Federalist on Oct. 25.
In the film, Shepherd noted, “a student mob runs a tenured Washington State professor off campus. Comedians commiserate at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory club about current efforts to censor their jokes. Invited to speak at UC Berkeley, Ben Shapiro gets that opportunity only after the school spends $600,000 in security to ward off Molotov cocktails and the like from student protesters.
Along with Jones, others who appear in the film include Canadian professor Jordan Peterson, comedian Tim Allen, former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, and Harvard University professor Cornel West.
The commentators “are merely a backdrop, as the movie chronicles several little-known incidents,” Shepherd notes.
“What struck me is that most people it highlights are not crazy famous or crazy rich,” said Isabella Chow, a recent graduate of University of California, Berkeley who is featured in the film. “We are just ordinary people who stood up for free speech: students, former professors, people with beliefs that I consider to be reasonable. But we had no idea that such shocking responses would happen to us.”
The film’s website allows you to find screenings near you.
Free Press International