Movies

Sausage Party Politics

Freedom of speech is ugly and that's ok

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Seth Rogen, co-writer, co-producer and co-star of the animated comedy Sausage Party, is unhappy with me—for defending him.

His movie was attacked by some online commentators for using ethnic and sexual stereotypes, as cartoons often do. What was remarkable is how incensed some people get over a cartoon, even one about talking food.

A reviewer for a site called Autostraddle at first praised the movie, including its depiction of a talking lesbian taco voiced by Salma Hayek.

But then the site replaced the review with a 2,600-word apology. Autostraddle calls itself a "progressively feminist online community for a new generation of kickass lesbian, bisexual & otherwise inclined ladies." Its endless apology said, "After we received feedback about (the Sausage Party review) from our Trans Editor (and others including Facebook commenters), we decided to un-publish the piece."

Un-publish. Last week, I did a show on free speech. A tweet I sent out plugging it said, "The attack on free speech even extends to silly movies like @SethRogen's Sausage Party."

Rogen sent my tweet to his 4 million Twitter followers. (Thanks for that, Seth!) But being a Hollywood leftist, he didn't thank me for defending his movie. Probably because I work for Fox, he tweeted that my tweet is what happens "(w)hen idiots use your movie to pretend that free speech is being attacked when it isn't at all."

Rogen's followers pounced, one saying, "It's baffling that some people can't comprehend that criticism is a part of free speech … Everything is working as intended. Stossel is a tool."

Rogen tweeted again: "People tweeting that they hate your sh– isn't an 'attack on free speech.' It's people using free speech to tell you they hate your sh–."

But wait! I agree! As I said, private organizations have the right to publish or "un-publish" just about anything.

Fortunately, commenters who read about this on the website Mediaite got it: "Rogen would have been wise to not say anything … (L)ike a typical Hollywood star, he thought it was all about him. Stossel was making a point about the state of free speech in America today and mentioned the reactions a silly movie is getting to help make his point."

To clarify: Private individuals are free to criticize all they like, and the First Amendment forbids government to decide whether a taco is offensive to lesbians—or to fundamentalist Christians for that matter.

It's an important rule. We have just one government. When government censors, we're all screwed.

Private citizens and private organizations, whether they're TV channels, universities or activist groups, can duke it out in the arena created by our right to free speech.

We should keep in mind, though, that the same people who get upset about lesbian tacos, irreverent depictions of Jesus, drug use in movies or whatever the controversy of the day is, sometimes become politicians. Some then try to use government force to shut their enemies up. Hillary Clinton wants to censor a movie that criticized her. Donald Trump promises to "rewrite" libel law.

I fear that the growing belief that no one should ever have to suffer being offended or hearing something that upsets them could come back to haunt us with calls for real censorship. That would be a real attack on free speech.

It's good to have a thick skin. In the free-for-all of public debate, people will get upset.

I can't order people to listen to their enemies any more than I can order my enemies to shut up. The best thing we can do when we hear upsetting ideas is respond with good counterarguments.

People who keep arguing with each other, even if they offend each other, are less likely to look for uncommunicative, violent ways to settle their disputes.

Keep making art, voicing opinions and expecting other people to tell you you're an idiot who should stay silent. That's the messy process by which we learn from each other.

I assume Seth Rogen agrees that's the best use of free speech there is.

COPYRIGHT 2016 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

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  1. Yay one page thank you.

    OK first of all, the response to his movie reveals our cultural hypersensitivities, but it was not an attack on free speech. As I think you acknowledge.

    But why was he so angry and called you ‘idiot’?

    Because Hollywood has a larger overarching agenda to overturn Citizens United so that money will go not directly to candidates but to movie and TV production companies to create political propaganda. So they want to discredit criticism of overturning CU:

    “Obama’s swing vote on the Supreme Court to overturn CU is an attack on our free speech!”

    “Again, you don’t understand free speech, you idiot!”

    So I think it’s important not to ‘cry wolf’ on free speech.

    Finally, you say that free speech reduces violence – it does! This is in fact the point of free speech. Not “marketplace of ideas” – though that’s a nice shibboleth.

    1. Comment 2:

      Sausage Party is not a particularly good movie, but it’s an engaging ‘meta’ romp on the nature of reality, religion and drugs. Basically the premise is that religion just creates war and strife and the purpose is to prevent you from realizing your gonna die, and that drugs drop the veils obscuring the true nature of reality. So it’s good and bad, but overall good – as with many movies these days they debunk addiction and portray excessive drug users as losers not ‘innocent victims of a brain disease’. So it will help in legalization of pot and overall decriminalization. Progress not perfection.

      1. I always thought it was our lizard masters, not our lizard hind brain

      2. I think you are seeing a bit of a rorschach in that movie. I don’t think there were any themes, any subtle societal critique, or brilliant metaphors. It was basically Seth Rogen using his platform to alternate sledgehammer obvious sexual innuendo with the word fuck. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t social commentary. It was the vanity project of a guy with less intellectual depth than Donald Trump and it showed.

        It was one of those cases where 20 minutes in I was saying “please please don’t be over 2 hours”.

        1. Only a total retard like Weigel would think there’s some kind of deep meaning in the movie.

          1. Exactly.
            Rogen has had some outrageously funny characters and some funny stuff. He is no philosopher.
            Largely, however, he has juvenile material and has to revert back to poop and fuck all the time.
            I wonder if his funniest characters were not written by him.

            Really funny guys can do stuff without constantly cussing and farting.

            Check yes to Salma Hayek’s taco

            1. “Really funny guys can do stuff without constantly cussing and farting.”

              100x this. Good comedy shows us ordinary things in a extraordinary light, instead of just slathering them in “rauch” dressing.

    2. The plaintiffs in Citizens United were a corporation that produced a movie; which the government wanted to censor in the original meaning of the word.

      That Hollywood people like Rogen fail to,see this as a direct threat to themselves and their ‘art’ just demonstrates their ignorance, and stupidity.

      1. They will be shocked SHOCKED when their parody movie comes out too close to an election and is banned. Because overturning Citizens United is all about stopping Republicans speech….

      2. They are no doubt sure that it won’t be their stuff that is censored. They are probably right for the forseeable future. The socons were right for decades as they applied “decency” standards and assumed the state wouldn’t be turned on them and then … punishment for not baking gay wedding cakes. In a lot of ways this is just the pendulum swinging. The pattern is the state gets progressively more authoritarian but every so often we replace the old nut jobs with new nut jobs who have a fresh take on authoritarianism. The war on marijuana is slowly being replaced with a war on cigarettes. The war on indecent speech is being replaced with the war on badthink. Meet the new boss same as the old boss.

  2. We can finally put the conjecture and speculation aside. Rogen is Tulpa.

  3. Seth Rogen is a complete fucking tool who lacks the balls to criticize the left. Much like his pal Amy Schumer who, while never funny, was raunchy and used to say she’d never apologize for a joke until she realized that she could make herself into a fat feminist icon and further her brand.

    1. And I’m sure this is the *exact* *same* god damn take he would have if it were, say, Christian fundamentalists angry about his movie.

      1. Left-wingers and right-wingers both have little interest praising anyone on single issues, when they disagree with someone’s overarching perspective. They think these people are only coincidentally right for all the wrong reasons. Seth Rogan and his fellow travelers remind me of social conservatives driving libertarians and independents out of the Tea Party, when they should have cooperated with them on the Tea Party’s original mission: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. Instead, social conservatives used the Tea Party to promote issues that had nothing to do with the Tea Party’s mission, including religion, crime, immigration, abortion, gay marriage, and banning felons from voting. As a result, nobody’s talking about the Tea Party anymore. Sad.

    2. In love how their Budweiser “people’s party” ads have lately evolved into pure SJW shilling.

      I hope the good ole boys that actually drink that swill notice and stop buying.

      1. Yeah, that struck me as one of the more ill-conceived ad campaigns I’ve ever seen – “Hey, who comprises the majority of our customers….rednecks? OK, we’ll give them Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer yammering about feminist pay-disparity talking points. It’s a sure winner!”

        1. Maybe they think it’ll buy them a favor from the feminist judge or bureaucrat who’s deciding their fate next time they get sued for gender discrimination by a disgruntled employee.

  4. You know what else is a total sausage party?

    1. a wienie roast?

    2. a bratwurst bash?

    3. Delta Iota Kappa chapter house?

    4. The IT industry?

    5. libertarianism?

      1. Wiener wiener!

    6. Every sports bar in Greenbay?

    7. My department when I was in grad school?

      1. *Adds to bucket list*

      1. Is Elberta the French way to spell Alberta?

    8. Hit and Run?

    9. A private meeting with Hillary Clinton and Rosie O’Donnell?

    10. The Elberta Sausage Festival?

    11. Oktoberfest?

  5. It’s an important rule. We have just one government. When government censors, controls healthcare, controls schools, limits energy production, subsidizes, mandates, regulates, we’re all screwed.

    1. Don’t get me wrong, free speech is in the very first Amendment for a reason, but why do Lefties have a knee jerk reaction to censoring speech — yet are oblivious to “censoring” action?

      Government schools, college loans, PBS, drug laws, property taxes, minimum wage, etc. etc. are all things that force me to do one thing — either with my time or my money — and therefore *prevent* me from doing my first choice.

      1. you are specifically prohibited from fucking your sheep on public streets…there, you satisfied now!

        1. In some states, that’s only because you are blocking traffic.

  6. Instead of enjoying some common ground with someone from the other team, he’d rather stamp his feet like a child. “You’re a meanie poo poo head republican because you work for Fox… DON’T ASSOCIATE WITH ME!”

    1. As far as Rogen’s concerned, might as well have been David Duke endorsing him. Wait’ll he finds out Stossel whole-heartedly agrees with his position that two plus two equals four.

      1. Roger is not one who believes 2+2=4

        He’s part of the 2+2=5 camp who loves Big Brother…

        1. Uhm, we’re at about 2+2=9-ish at this point. 2=2=5 was so 1982.

    2. Ya I seem to remember him taking heat for his movies from team right-think vulva for the usual wrong-think crimes. Then along comes gamergate, and sudenly he’s an ovarian warlord

      1. ovarian warlord

        Something MUST be done with that….

        Indie-rock band?

        Not very good video game?

        Nickname for a women’s rugby team captain?

  7. Seth Rogan is a meat faced moron who hasn’t been funny since the aughts. 40 Year Old Virgin and Superbad were OK though.

    1. I liked him in Superbad, mostly because as the meathead cop he didn’t have a whole lot to do (Bill Hader was better as his partner, though).

      [panting after a short chase] “He’s… so fast. He’s… the fastest… kid in the world.”

  8. Okay I’m gonna say what everyone’s thinking; what’s an autostrattle and where can I find pictures?

    1. I was wondering something similar. Is that another name for The Sybian?

      You can find pics and videos all over the internet of various women riding one.

  9. Seth. One Canadian to another.

    Political philosophy is not your thing.

  10. Seth Rogwn is a useful especially idiot.

    1. You heard it here first, folks: Seth Rogwn is a useful especially idiot.

      1. Seth Rogwn really got put in his place.

        1. Seth Rogwn was ok in Soperb?d.

          1. And The 48-day-old Wirgin.

            1. That is coming out as “werrr geen” in my head, thanks to an old movie that I once viewed. Thanks a lot.

    1. Crusty Juggler is a useful especially idiot.

    2. It looks like he’s perfecting his “face that makes you hate him automatically”
      http://assets.amuniversal.com/…..163e41dd5b

  11. Speaking of mindsets, the comments on this Krugman blog post are……….hell, I don’t know what the adjective is. Am I a bad person for hoping Hillary wins so that I can point to my own country, a la Venezuela, and demand an answer or an apology from Leftists??

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c…..p=cur&_r=0

    “this is what all smart, hard working women deal with daily. She has it worse because she’s dared to go big. The majority of men in this country detest women.”

    “Actually, the Republican Party has investigated the Clintons going on thirty years now in order to scar them, and they succeeded in doing just that. They were investigated on every aspect of their lives, finding nothing to prosecute, inevitably leaving the public with so much distrust of them that transcends into today’s political ream.”

    1. The majority of men in this country detest women.

      Project much, Krug-Man? I really don’t think that’s even close to true.

      Of course, Paul Krugman can’t maintain an erection unless his partner is wearing a Paul Krugman mask.

      1. [takes notes]

        1. Oh fuck. Sorry, everybody.

          1. DAMN YOU!! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!

          2. Sorry, those quotes were from the commenters to his blog post — NOT Krugman himself.

          3. X is now dead to me, unless SF puts him in the story.

    2. You will never get an apology from a leftist for what they will do to any country that lets them flush it down the toilet.

      1. Of course not. Leftists have good intentions. They’re altruists who want to help people by giving them free shit. They never intend to destroy economies and entire societies. That’s not their fault. They have good intentions. So of course they won’t apologize. They didn’t do anything to apologize for. Unless you want them to apologize for having good intentions. They’re not going to do that.

        1. Leftists are masters of the blame game. They will always find convenient scapegoats to cover their sorry asses.

          1. Do you think, when the socialistas have fucked our economy, they will blame it on a “conspiracy by the USA!!”?? I mean, that is the fallback for every socialist dictator in S. America when the birds come home to roost.

    3. So why do women detest Hillary?

      1. She’s the mother-in-law they all hate.

        1. That explains why the only women who like her are married to their cats. They don’t get it.

      2. I can’t speak for other women, but my mother detests her for putting up with a cheating husband.

        1. It does obliterate the whole “empowered woman” facade.

          1. Empowered woman?

            Where the hell would Hillary Rodham be in life if she’d never latched on to Bill Clinton? My guess is the embittered ex-wife of an insurance salesman in Park Ridge, Illinois. Of course she put up with Bill Clinton’s cheating. She had to. Without him her future political career would be about as promising as Rosalynn Carter’s.

            1. Yeah, the women I know, this is the bigger issue. She’s as self-made and independent as John Kerry or whomever the woman is that George Lucas put in charge of Star Wars.

        2. In that marriage I sympathize more with Bill. Hillary abused him repeatedly while he was president; leader of the free world and he’s thoroughly pussy whipped.

          I don’t like Bill personally, but he was always just a meal ticket for her. That marriage makes an arranged marriage between medieval aristocrats look good.

    4. I don’t “detest” women in general, though I’ve yet to meet one that shuts the fuck up. Even the shy, ugly ones, once they break the seal, will get diarrhea of the mouth. Of course, if it was useful in steering one through the cosmic absurdity of life, that would be one thing, but it’s inevitably about the most pointless shit – complete analytic of nothingness. Lastly, bi-polar is largely considered and disorder of males – because the exact behavior pattern in women is known as “normal”.

      Other than that, they’re great.

      1. Ain’t the need to procreate a bitch!!!

      2. verse/chorus/bridge scheme for a guy with a guitar:
        A
        B
        A
        C
        A
        B
        thanks Phil Collins.

        For chick songwriter

        A
        B
        A
        A
        B
        A
        C
        A
        B
        B
        A
        B
        A
        B
        C (MOD)
        A
        BBBBB

        True. Check out your local coffee house.
        The above is NOT true if a guy wrote the song.

        1. I’m reading this as a chord progression thinking: Why would you put A next to C? that’s going to be dissonant as hell.

        2. I’m reading this as a chord progression thinking: Why would you put A next to C? that’s going to be dissonant as hell.

          1. No, its a verse (A) chourus (B) bridge (C) way of describing how a song is structured together. Shorthand.

            The most common form is ABACAB. With minor variations, of course.

            Chicks, they do go on…..

            1. I realized that, as a bit of a counter I know plenty of Heavy Metal songs > 7 minutes long.

  12. I’m gonna spin the progressive resistance in a positive way. I’m gonna look at this as by them lashing out in a reactionary way, it can but seal their fate; as a path to perhaps a governance less reliant on progressive thought.

  13. Is there anything more boring than a Twitter war?

    I vote “no.”

  14. The fight over Citizens United boils down to the Progressive tendency to latch on to a decision or trend they don’t like because it loses them power and then rummage around for some high minded principle that can be made to sound like is invalidates that decision or trend.

    Not that the Progressives are unique in swapping principles as long as they win. But they are currently the bunch likeliest to get all sanctimonious about it. If I were living in the late Victorian era, I would probably feel the same loathing about the smugly Christian. These days those schmucks are hardly on the radar.

    1. Great point. The ideas that people support are important, but not as important as the people themselves. When people grow to have too much social power and sway over others, they tend to abuse it because it’s easy to abuse it. It’s much easier to be petulant, blind, and condescending to views that you don’t like than to actually listen to and give credit to the other side. I have that same problem, but I try my best to not be like that to the local progs in Chapel Hill.

    2. Citizens United Untied is just a fascisti hatchet lying in some fallen straw.

  15. I’m going to go out on a limb here and theorize that Seth Rogan is perhaps a fairly fucking stupid.

  16. I thought the movie was so-so. It had some funny moments, but my real praise was for how un-PC it was. It’s pretty graphic, lewd, and full of stereotypes. It seemed aimed to piss off everyone, and as evidenced by the autostraddle debacle, it worked. The funniest thing by far was when two patrons walked out after the scene depicting an anthropomorphic used condom. So kudos to Seth Rogen for not holding back.

    But at the same time, screw you Seth Rogen. People are throwing hissy fits over the content of his movie, and yet Rogen blames John Stossel, who defended said contents right to exist. Typical leftest response, misrepresent what free speech advocates are fighting for. It takes a special kind of stupid to think that complaints aren’t a vital component of free speech. Of course complaints are valid. But what is important to understand is how these types of complaints are employed. They are not just saying that something is foul, they are wanting to shut it down entirely. And when these ideals gain more traction and governmental support is where the tyranny of total speech supression is introduced.

    If I stop watching Seth Rogen’s movies over this, will he attack my belief in free markets/association?

    1. I don’t know if I like or dislike Seth Rogen. Hollywood’s a really isolated environment that is very difficult for anybody with a wrongthink ideology to survive in. It may actually hurt his career if he gives any “wrongthinkers” like Stossel any kind of praise (cognitive dissonance notwithstanding), much like how Renaissance artists couldn’t openly rebel against the patrons that supported them.

    2. I will put what I said in a simpler way: Rogen may think he’s being politically incorrect, but deep in his heart he knows what lines can’t be crossed. Shows you what kinds of people run Hollywood.

      1. Rogen may think he’s being politically incorrect, but deep in his heart he knows what lines can’t be crossed.

        That goes for pretty much everyone in the Judd Apatow mafia, though. They’ll happily piss on what they perceive to be the values of flyover country and produce all kinds of degenerate, subversive crap–except the kind that actually ruffles the feathers of their fellow media flacks in NYC and LA.

        The sad part is that they actually think they’re the rebels in this little passion play of theirs instead of the cultural gatekeepers. Seriously, did it even occur to Rogen or his bobbleheaded fan base how telling it is that the only people who made a massive public stink about this were hard-left feminist catladies?

  17. But wait! I agree! As I said, private organizations have the right to publish or “un-publish” just about anything.

    But you’re not allowed to say it. You really mean it, and that’s icky!

  18. When Jack Johnson whupped the Great White Hope, Congress banned the movie, but Birth of a Nation played everywhere. In 1923 Gov. Gifford Pinchot ordered the PA State Board of Motion Picture Censors to ban all movies featuring hip flasks, booze parties or even a sip of beer. When a NY audience in 1931 realized Little Caesar was a dry propaganda film, they smashed the theater. The other 50 gangsta flix by then had been even-handed or cast the bootleggers as heroes.

  19. going to skip “SP” , just sayin

  20. When did Seth Rogen ever make any art?

    -jcr

    1. poop yes, art no

  21. Fucking Seth Rogen. A overrated progtard, seriously I actually use to like this douche nozzle until he opened that big fucking mouth of his. Sure there is consequences to free speech and that the first amendment is to keep government from censoring speech but we can also be critical of “private” censoring, it doesn’t exclude the fact that bunch of whiners can create a climate in private sector to chill speech. Rogen the dumbass libber doesn’t see that, what a jack ass, that is the reason why I won’t ever go to one of his movies again. Get fucked, bottom feeder Rogen.

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