FIRE President Greg Lukianoff is a self-described Firefly "fanboy"—and in a column today for The Daily Caller, he talks about how his love for the sci-fi TV series and his First Amendment advocacy intersected in FIRE’s recent win at the University of Wisconsin-Stout:
As I reported back in September, a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Stout, James Miller, was threatened with potential criminal charges just for posting a quote from the beloved but short-lived sci-fi classic Firefly outside his door and, then, for having the temerity to object to the university’s heavy-handed treatment of him and the poster.
Now, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has come out with a new video explaining this remarkable case, in which I abandon my usual lawyerly suits and ties to reveal my Firefly fanboy self. We are absolutely thrilled that the famous novelist, comic book author, and sci-fi and fantasy legend Neil Gaiman agreed to sit down for an interview about why he thinks this case is ridiculous and why he chose to publicize the professor’s shoddy treatment to his 1.6 million Twitter fans.
While the case is funny if only because it is so ridiculous and the university should have known better than to censor a quote from a show whose rabid and diehard fans even have a special name for themselves (we are "Browncoats," by the way), it very nearly was not funny at all. When power-tripping administrators are accusing you of making threats to the entire community, tearing down your posters, and demanding to meet with you in person, your career may be on the line. I am quite sure that if it hadn’t been for the combined efforts of FIRE, droves of Firefly fans, and people like Gaiman and Firefly stars Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin, this case would’ve ended very badly for Miller.
Check out Greg’s whole column here!
Schools: University of Wisconsin – Stout Cases: University of Wisconsin – Stout: Censorship, Referral to Threat Assessment Team, and Threat of Criminal Charges after Professor Puts Posters Outside Office Door