New Documentary Explores Suppression of Free Speech at Yale

If universities can’t tolerate debate about controversial issues, how can they call themselves places of learning?

Comedy web channel We the Internet TV released the short documentary “Silence U Part 2: What has Yale Become?” today, the follow-up to its 2016 viral hit “Silence U: Is the University Killing Free Speech and Open Debate?

We the Internet TV is a comedy news channel that has earned millions of views, started important conversations about the role of government in society, received press coverage in major publications, and won two honorable mentions in the online video category from the prestigious Webbys.

Students openly said they wouldn't say anything controversial or speak out against the administration because it could jeopardize their job prospects."Silence U Part 2" examines Yale’s notorious controversy surrounding administrative controls over Halloween costumes. The 12-minute documentary asks: if universities can’t tolerate debate about controversial issues, how can they call themselves places of learning?

“The silence from students shocked me,” said the film’s director Rob Montz. “Forget what’s right – students openly told me they wouldn’t say anything controversial or speak out against the administration because it could jeopardize their job prospects.”  

“Although our comedy videos typically focus on satirizing politics, We the Internet TV released ‘Silence U’ to support open discourse,” said Lou Perez, comedian and We the Internet TV’s head writer. “This is more than a documentary about Yale – we’re seeing this story play out on campuses nationwide. This belongs on We the Internet because humor can’t survive without free speech. We hope ‘Silence U’ sparks much-needed conversations.”

Tonight the channel will host a discussion with experts, comedians, and the film’s director about the documentary and other campus free-speech issues. We the Internet TV, through its podcast and live show Unsafe Space, will host a panel at 8 p.m. PDT (11 p.m. EDT) at The Lab at The Hollywood Improv. You can watch the event via live-stream here. Both Montz and Perez will be available for interviews following the panel.

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