Neil Gaiman talks 'Firefly,' free speech on campus, and one of the craziest cases of the year
December 29, 2011
The Huffington Post
As I reported back in September, a drama professor at a campus in the University of Wisconsin System appeared to be in danger of losing his job for two posters he had placed outside his door. The first poster included a quote from the beloved yet short-lived science-fiction classic Firefly. The second warned the university against acting like a bunch of fascists for tearing down the first poster and threatening the professor with potential criminal charges. The university reacted to the posters by stating that the professor was a threat to the school, reporting him to the "threat assessment team," and instructing him to meet with the dean. What should have been a non-incident was spiraling out of control, and the professor, James Miller, feared for his job.
That is when Miller contacted my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Here is a video about what happened next. We are especially thrilled that legendary comic book, sci-fi, and fantasy author Neil Gaiman agreed to sit down for an interview about the censorship. Gaiman played a crucial role in the case, as he tweeted about the absurdity of it to his over 1.6 million followers, which doubtlessly contributed to the public pressure on the school for its decision to dig in its heels and defend its indefensible actions.
The video also features me in my honest-to-life role as brazen fanboy of both Firefly and all things Joss Whedon: