March 19, 2020

From new movie releases like JoJo Rabbit to modern classics like Blazing Saddles, The Producers, and Team America: World Police — and, of course, centuries-old landmark works such as Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” — satire has helped us examine real social and political topics using humor that’s often absurd… and sometimes offensive.

Satire and its cousins like irony allow us to grapple with some of our most dangerous, difficult ideas, and the audio-visual medium of film gives ample opportunity to explore complex, and often uncomfortable, themes. Films like JoJo Rabbit, in which a young German boy has an imaginary friend in the form of a murderous dictator, can employ stinging jokes, ridiculous plots, and farcical characters that address serious issues.

It is, in a word, speech — and the freedom of speech that allows for satirical novels and boundary-pushing movies is critical to our using creativity to advance the social and political dialogue that improves our world.

And yes, many times that speech can be offensive. It can be inappropriate. It can upset us. But its importance is why we're going to get into the complex and hotly debated subject of freedom of speech… on this episode of Out of Frame.

Written & Produced by Sean W. Malone
Edited by Arash Ayrom
Asst. Editing by Jason Reinhardt

— Free Speech History & Ideas —

— Censorship & Court Cases —

— Social Media Issues —