Occasionally sanity prevails. Six years ago Amaani Lyle, 32, alleged that raw sexual remarks during work sessions and conversations in the writer’s meetings for the TV show Friends amounted to sexual harrasment and sued the writers and producers. She had been hired to transcribe the writer’s meetings, when the writers came up with ideas and dialogue for the weekly scripts. She was fired after only four months for not being able to transcribe quickly enough or to capture the flavors of the meetings.
The California Supreme Court ruled against Lyle’s lawsuit. It decided today, 7 to 0, that trash talk was part of the creative process and, therefore, the studio and its writers could not be sued for raunchy writers’ meetings.
Justice Marvin Baxtor wrote that no jury would believe the writers’ assistant was the target of harassment during profanity-laced script sessions “for an adult-oriented comic show featuring sexual themes.” After all, she’d been warned when she was hired what the writer’s meetings where they hashed out their scripts were like. And one would think that she had likely watched an episode or two of the show, so she should have known just from that, anyhow.
A ruling in favor of the former assistant Lyle would have made it virtually impossible to produce TV programs or other creative works. How could you work creatively if you had to worry that anything you said might get you sued? Censoring the creative process is simply not a good idea, and that, in essense, is what Lyle was going for. Creativity must be unfettered during the process of creation. Otherwise, it tends not to happen at all.
I’m really glad she lost her case.
Of course, the whole “PC” thing is generally just a way for censorers to try to justify being prigs. There seem to be a whole flock of people on both the left and right who just can’t abide the thought of letting people say and do what they want. They must force people to not say words they find offensive, not to express ideas they disagree with, not to think thoughts they find offensive, and not to eat or drink or otherwise injest products that they have decided are bad for them. Teaching people to be polite is usually a good thing. But legislating it? Sueing people over it? Banning stuff? That’s insane. And oppressive. Fascists always think they have everyone’s best interests in mind.
CNN has a full report.