ABC’s “The View” panel discussed the unfair consequences of free speech Thursday, focusing on the recent attack of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.
Host Rosie O’Donnell likened the tragedy’s aftermath to violent fallout from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.–led voting rights marches depicted in Ava DuVernay‘s award-nominated film “Selma.”
“You watch ‘Selma,’ there were consequences to the language… with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. There were consequences to their free speech here as well,” O’Donnell said.
“Twelve people pay with their lives for practicing their right to freedom of speech, which is cherished in Paris as it is here in America,” said fellow host Nicolle Wallace. “Do you feel chilled as creators, creative people?”
Joining the discussion as guest co-hosts were Cristela Alonzo (“Cristela”) and Laverne Cox (“Orange Is the New Black”). Both filled in for Whoopi Goldberg, who is nursing a bulging disk in her back, and Rosie Perez as she continues her one-month hiatus to star in Broadway’s “Fish in the Dark.”
“When I’m on TV, I’m really careful about what I say,” said Cox. “I think there are people who are always ready to attack, but at the end of the day, freedom of speech…is something I honor as an artist, first and foremost. It’s (Charlie Hebdo) a reminder that people in other parts of the world don’t believe that.”
On the topic of free speech, Cox delved further into the language, speaking on her experience being identified as a transgender woman.
“People want to use the wrong pronouns to refer to me. Language is such a big issue for trans people, and it’s really not about censoring other people. It’s about respecting people on their own terms,” she said. “But how do we give people respect for who they are, respecting people’s identities, while we respect their right to say what we need to say?”
As hot topics came to a close, the ladies shifted the conversation to a lighter subject: Justin Bieber. The “Believe” star and his new Calvin Klein underwear campaign sparked a social media frenzy among fans and older women alike, TheWrap previously reported.
“This is the guy who throws up on stage and blames milk. This is the guy who does a lot of public peeing, barfing and spitting, but I think he looks nice in underwear,” Wallace said.
“I like Justin Bieber in those ads because he’s silent,” Alonzo chimed in. “You can’t hear him talk, and he’s very pretty.”