The Echo Chamber
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
  3:48 PM

Time for Tim Robbins to go Cool Off

Tim Robbins is outraged with Dale Petroskey of the Baseball Hall of Fame for canceling a showing of “Bull Durham.” And Tim Robbins is free to be outraged.

Tim Robbins said that Petroskey belongs “with the cowards and ideologues in a hall of infamy and shame." And Tim Robbins is free to say that.

Of course Petroskey is free to cancel “Bull Duraham.” But Tim Robbins has a problem with that freedom. Tim says, “we need the press more than ever to protect the constitutional right to free speech.” Hold up Timbo! The first amendment protects against government infringement of free speech. It does not guarantee access to all commercial and private forums!

If the first amendment guaranteed access, no production company could remain in business. Why? Because they would be forced to produce and distribute every rant from every wacko that cared to make a Michael Mooresque documentary. You think popular culture is a wasteland now? That would be a nightmare.

What Robbins wants is to be able to say whatever he wants (fine, go for it Tim) without anyone else having the right to respond (not fine). Mr. Robbins can be an activist, an entertainer, or - to the extent that the two are compatible - an activist entertainer. But he can’t be a dictator, and that’s weighing heavy on him. Too bad.

Mr. Robbins’ right to express himself is limited only by the damage that he is willing to do to his acting career. If he feels strongly enough about something, he should speak up even if it means ending his career. If he doesn’t feel that strongly about it, he should shut up and go film Shawshank II: The Crawl Back Up The Pipe. 


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