When Kathy Griffin received a creative arts Emmy for her reality show last weekend, she is reported to have said, by way of an acceptance speech:
Can you believe this shit? I guess hell froze over. … a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. So, all I can say is, ‘suck it, Jesus.’ This award is my god now.Which are not the most tactful remarks she could have found for the occasion, but tact is probably not what she was trying to convey. Instead, it looks very much like she was attempting to insult everyone who has ever thanked Jesus for an Emmy.
Now, why Ms. Griffin thought the occasion of receiving an Emmy such a wonderful opportunity for insulting others is a mystery to me. Perhaps she hates Christianity to the point of an obsession with it. Who knows? But the TV Academy and the E! Channel plan to edit her offensive remarks from the Emmy Awards program they will be showing Saturday. And while I am passionately opposed to censorship, I concede the Academy and Cable Channel have every legal right to censor Ms. Griffin.
I am as far from being a legal expert as possible but it's my understanding that the right to free speech does not apply to uninvited speech conducted on someone else's private property. I do not have a right, for instance, to enter your house to make a campaign speech for my favorite candidate unless you invite me to do so. Nor do I have a right to demand that you publish my speech in your newspaper, on your blog, or over your TV network. So, while I could be mistaken, I think the TV Academy and the E! Channel legally can pretty much do what they want to censor Ms. Griffin.
Yet, does the Academy and E! Channel have a moral obligation to air Ms. Griffin's remarks? Again, I don't think so. For once, I find myself on the side of the censors. Ms. Griffin's remarks strike me as inappropriate to their forum and -- worse -- as gratuitously insulting. There is no moral reason that I can see why the TV Academy and E! Channel must provide a forum for Ms. Griffin to insult everyone who has ever thanked Jesus for an Emmy.
Am I right about this, or should I drink some more coffee and re-think it?
Griffin's Emmy Remarks to be Censored