WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 29, 2022 — In a new six-figure advertising campaign from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, comedian Judy Gold and Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman speak about the importance of protecting free speech in comedy. The campaign is part of FIRE’s ongoing expansion into broader free speech issues and will run on prime time for six weeks on Comedy Central and connected TV.
“Silencing comedians and silencing points of view is only going to hurt us and divide us,” said Judy Gold in an ad. “We need more speech, not less speech.” Noam Dworman discussed how important free speech and honesty is to comedians. “Free speech is important because it is the only way to get to the truth of anything,” he said.
The recent cancellation of Dave Chappelle’s scheduled performance at Minneapolis’ First Avenue, only hours before he was set to take the stage, shows how potent the threats to free speech in comedy have become. The venue’s decision put politics over free expression. Chappelle sometimes wades into uncomfortable topics, but if comedians are silenced anytime they say something controversial, all audiences will be left with are knock-knock jokes.
“It is imperative that comedians have the ability to speak their minds,” said FIRE Executive Vice President Nico Perrino. “Good comedy surprises us. It pushes boundaries. It smuggles truth through laughter. Censorship seeks conformity — and conformity isn’t funny.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending and sustaining the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought—the most essential qualities of liberty. FIRE educates Americans about the importance of these inalienable rights, promotes a culture of respect for these rights, and provides the means to preserve them.
Katie Kortepeter, Media Relations Manager, FIRE: 215-717-3473; firstname.lastname@example.org