"If they'll protect a scumbag like me, then they'll protect all of you."

Larry Flynt's infamous quote summarizes Hollywood's self-congratulatory celebration of free speech in its Academy Award-nominated film "The People vs. Larry Flynt." Critic Roger Ebert said the film argued that freedom of speech must apply to unpopular speech or it is meaningless.

However, an eerie silence now envelops Hollywood as we watch the United States Government and the world persecute a California filmmaker needlessly targeted by the press, the perceived scumbag responsible for the unpopular speech in his indie film "The Innocence of Muslims." Such persecution is testing Hollywood's self-image as champion of artistic expression and free speech, no matter how foul.

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