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Joss Whedon’s Firefly Saves Free Speech With An Assist From Neil Gaiman

For great justice

Do you recall the story of University of Wisconsin-Stout professor of theater and speech, James Miller, getting in trouble for hanging a Firefly poster on his office door? It included a quote from Nathan Fillion’s character Mal Reynolds which contained the word “kill” and the school’s police chief Lisa A. Walter decided it was a public safety threat. Instead of my idea to send Walter Firefly on DVD so she could fall in love with it and let Miller put the poster back up, the issue was taken to the free-speech organization FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Now, enthusiastic Firefly fans and none other than Neil Gaiman have joined the cause in a new video produced by FIRE. Give it a watch. 

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“I think what’s disappointing, is that the university administration backed their police officer rather than quietly taking her aside and pointing out that she had done something that was stupid, wrong and that would embarrass all of them,” says Gaiman in the video. ” I think free speech on campus has to be important because the currency of a university is ideas.”

After all this media attention, the campus finally backed down. Firefly may have lost the television battle but it will always win the war.

(via io9)

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."

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