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Wendy Williams and The Simpsons’ Apu: Feel free to self-censor, or not

Written By | Apr 27, 2018

WASHINGTON: Wendy Williams, Daytime T.V. talk show host, is speaking out against the censorship of Free Speech, political correctness and a general lack of a funny bone in America today. Williams got in trouble recently for making the following observation during her show’s “Hot Topics” segment:

“I’m sick of this #MeToo movement. I love that people are speaking up for the first time and speaking out and everything. But now, I look at all men like you’re a #MeToo, all of them, all of them, which is not fair.”

Wendy Williams, #MeToo, Free Speech, Parenting

Host Wendy Williams talks to her studio audience on the Wendy Williams Show. Screen capture.

Here comes the Twitter mob

She also said allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at a rap singer for his dealings with underage girls was not an issue for the #MeToo movement but for the parents of the young girls in question.

That observation caused a firestorm of denunciations on twitter. But then who cares what Twitter has to say about anything, or anyone.




It takes two parents, not a #MeToo movement or a  village

Wendy Williams, #MeToo, Free Speech, Parenting, The SimpsonsThat’s because William’s argument stabs at the very heart of modern progressivism. It rejects the argument made by Hillary Clinton, in a children’s book no less , that “It Takes a Village” to raise a child.

No, it takes two committed, engaged and loving parents, who created that child, to then raise that child. The collective “village” is just an incarnation of that overpowering and abusive older male.

A patriarchal stand-in, if you will, for the sinister force that sits in a windowless van and entices with candy: the amoral, exploitative and violent government.

Wendy sidesteps the free-speech argument

Inspired by Twitter’s key-punching, pitchfork-and-torch-bearing mobs, Williams referenced the #MeToo outrage obliquely on a later show.

“It’s a very difficult time that we’re all living in… Especially when you’re doing live T.V. You’ve got to watch every damned word you say. And I resent it.

“I resent that we just can’t get down with the get down. And people can’t take jokes and things like that. I do resent it because my funny bone runs deep. I only give you a slice here.”

 

The Simpsons (a cartoon mind you) is now under fire

And just when you think she is about to give a funny and inciteful defense of free speech, Williams drops the ball by engaging in the simplest of simpleminded defenses – diversion.



“So, the Simpsons, now, are under fire. And I want to bring it to light, for promoting racial stereotypes. Duh! They’ve been doing that since forever, but you don’t protest them. You’re so busy looking at daytime T.V. and, you know, the nighttime talk shows and everything – people who want to protest.… Now, the guy Hank Azaria, who happens to be white, he plays several voices on ‘The Simpsons.’ But one of the voices is the Indian-American, Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu.

He’s been doing this for over thirty years. If I were to do that and make a joke right here, you’d be out here protesting, my Indian friends.”

Cowards in the face of censorship
Wendy Williams, #MeToo, Free Speech, Parenting, The Simpsons

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from “The Simpsons.” Screen capture.

Actor Hank Azaria, the voice of Apu, recently gave CBS’s “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert something of a mea culpa. Azaria said the idea that his cartoon character “brought pain and suffering in any way, that it was used to marginalize people, it’s upsetting – genuinely.”

He told Colbert that he’s “perfectly willing and happy to step aside or help transition it into something new… it just feels like the right thing to do to me.”

Actor Hank Azaria on “Late Night” with Stephen Colbert. Screen capture.

 

You can never appease the perpetually offended.

Azaria also suggested his bosses at “The Simpsons” add an “Indian, South Asian writer or writers in the room – not in a token way…”

Sorry, but making PC concessions while a gun is put to your head only invites tokenism.

What’s truly offensive about all this is Wendy Williams and Hank Azaria’s rank cowardice in the face of calls for censorship.

We’ve seen this before

In 1798, with the passage by Federalists in Congress of the Alien and Sedition Acts, Americans were forbidden to “write, print, utter, or publish… any false, scandalous and malicious writings” against the government.

Of course, the determination of what were false and scandalous utterances or writings fell to the interpretation of appointed federal judges. Those likely appointed by easily offended Federalists.

But the state legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky, equally offended, voted to nullify the law, which forced Congress to repeal it to prevent an armed insurrection against an overt attack on First Amendment free speech.

And this occurred a mere decade after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

Absentminded professors

230 years later, limits on First Amendment freedom is once again rearing its ugly head in the guise of fighting “hate speech.”

Of “hate speech” and tyranny

Professors (who else?) Richard Delgado and John Sparkman of the University of Alabama, creators, and advocates of “critical race theory,” argue that its high time to limit what we may say to protect the “disempowered, marginalized people.”

Of their book “Must We Defend Nazis? Why the First Amendment Should Not Protect Hate Speech and White Supremacy,” New York University Press says:

“They [Delgado and Sparkman] examine the prevailing arguments against regulating speech and show that they all have answers. They show how limiting free speech would work in a legal framework and offer suggestions for activist lawyers and judges interested in approaching the hate speech controversy intelligently.”

 

 

Notice that “activist lawyers and judges” are the ones who will define whether what you “write, print, utter, or publish” is “scandalous and malicious” against the offended groups in question.

Groups – be they Federalists, Jews, African-Americans or Indian-Americans – have no right against being offended.

That’s because there is no such thing as “hate speech.”

Two parting words for the offended

There is only free speech, whether it comes from the mouths of Nazis, gossip-mongering T.V. talk show hosts or Kwik-E-Mart cartoon characters.

“America has so many enemies,” Apu once observed “Iran, Iraq, China, Mordor, the hoochies that laid low Tiger Woods, undesirable immigrants, by which I mean everyone that came after me, including my children.”

Now that’s very funny. And if you’re offended, screw you.

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Top Image: daytime talk show host Wendy Williams. Screen capture.

Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.