Embrace Free Speech and Whoopi: Boycott Slim-Fast

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    Terry Olson, President of Slim-Fast & Company Management
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Slim-Fast Foods Company recently removed Whoopi Goldberg as their spokesperson as a response to her critical and comedic comments of President Bush and Vice President Cheney at an event last week.

The company removed Ms. Goldberg after numerous threats of a boycott from Slim-Fast consumers who took issue with her comments.

While Ms. Goldberg's comments were deemed raunchy and inappropriate to some, others found them acceptable and in the spirit of comedy that our First Amendment provides encouragement for.

We'd like to remind Slim-Fast and consumers that raunchy and offensive language is not new to comedians or public figures, such as the President and Vice President.

Sept. 4, 2000: Then-Gov. George W. Bush whispers to Mr. Cheney, "There's Adam Clymer -- major league a**hole -- from the New York Times." No apology was offered.

June 24, 2004: On the Senate floor, Vice President Cheney told Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, "f**k yourself." No apology was offered, but Cheney felt good about his outburst. "It was long overdue," he quipped to Fox News.

In lieu of the President and Vice President condoning the type of language that Slim-Fast has fired Ms. Goldberg for, we ask that the company reconsider.

In fact, Ms. Goldberg was not only exercising her right to free speech, but she did it in a forum where all parties agreed to the content since they paid to see her comic routine. That said, she did not go into an unexpecting public forum and unleash a foul-mouthed diatribe against the wishes of the audience.

For that reason, it is wrong of Slim-Fast to fire Ms. Goldberg.

We ask that the management of Slim-Fast Foods Company reconsider and hire Ms. Goldberg back and protect her, and our, First Amendment rights to express ourselves as we see fit.

IF SLIM-FAST FOODS COMPANY REFUSES TO HIRE WHOOPI GOLDBERG BACK, We, the undersigned, will respectfully boycott Slim-Fast and its parent company, Unilever, until it recognizes an American's right to speak freely and without fear of persecution.

- food companies: Knorr, Flora/Becel, Hellmann's, Lipton, Iglo/BirdsEye/Findus, Rama/BlueBand, Slim-Fast, Bertolli and the ice cream 'heart' brand;
- personal care brands: Dove, Lux, Sunsilk, Pond's, Axe/Lynx and Rexona.

While it's is easy to quickly dismiss and squelch someone you disagree with, it's more honorable, though difficult, to simply disagree with a person's viewpoints.

WE RESPECT the right of everyone to agree or disagree with Ms. Goldberg's comments, but only disagree -- not fire someone based on their beliefs or the way they choose to express their beliefs.