Since last week's devastating attack on satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, an unprecedented number of people across the globe have come together to not only express solidarity against terrorism, but also to affirm their support of free speech. Many celebrities have come forward in response to the tragedy, many expressing sorrow, and others defending the freedom of the press. Here are what some of them had to say:
1. Mark Ruffalo
Shortly after the tragedy, Mark Ruffalo reminded others of the crucial role a free press plays in society.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) January 7, 2015
2. Helen Mirren
Though Hollywood was focused on the Golden Globes on Sunday evening, a few celebrities like Helen Mirren took the opportunity to speak out on the recent terrorist attack on the red carpet. Mirren, who wore a pen to symbolize freedom of expression told the Today Show's Natalie Morales, "It's a great reminder for all of us to stand by each other for the ideal of free speech. It’s very difficult to maintain that ideal but it’s a great one to aim towards."
3. George Clooney
In the final words of his Lifetime Achievement award acceptance speech, Clooney referenced the recent rallies that transpired following the attack in Paris: "There were millions of people that marched not just in Paris but around the world. And they were Christians and Jews and Muslims. They were leaders of countries all over the world and they didn’t march in protest. They marched in support of the idea that we will not walk in fear. We won’t do it. Je suis Charlie." (We also like that Amal showed her support with a pin on her clutch.)
4. Conan O'Brien
Conan's late night show, which is usually all about bringing on the laughs, took a more serious turn when the talk show host addressed the attack. "In this country we take it for granted that it's our right to poke fun at the untouchable or the sacred. But today's tragedy in Paris reminds us very viscerally that it's a right that some people are inexplicably forced to die for," he said. "It's not the way it's supposed to be,"he told the audience.
5. Tina Fey
During a press conference at the Television Critics Association, Fey asserted the importance of free speech, especially in recent times. "You look at that and you look at the controversy surrounding The Interview, it makes you think about how important free speech is and how it absolutely must be defended. [We] cannot back down on free speech in any way. We all have to stand firm on the issue of free speech."
Renowned graffiti artist Banksy sketched a cartoon in response to the attack, where a pencil representing the press is fighting back against terrorism.
We were glad to see some of today's most influential people speak out on this issue, and hope that the message continues on.