INTERVIEW: Adam Carolla Discusses 'No Safe Spaces,' Hollywood's Silence On Free Speech

Adam Carolla knows why Hollywood has been so silent when it comes to the attacks on free speech happening on campuses nationwide.

Sure, they may be upset to learn some speakers can’t finish a presentation without scrambling for their safety. But look who those speakers are.

Ben Shapiro. Ann Coulter. Heather Mac Donald.

Suddenly, that outrage fades to black.

“They disagree with what the guy is saying, so it’s a good thing,” Carolla says.

That means stars won’t like what the podcast king is up to next.

Carolla is teaming up with syndicated radio host Dennis Prager to create “No Safe Spaces.” The upcoming documentary captures how free speech is under attack on college campuses.

Evergreen. UC Berkeley. Claremont McKenna College.

Carolla doesn’t necessarily blame the students for the problem.

“The kids are 19, stupid and high. They’ve never not had a house with four TV sets in it. We shouldn’t be listening to them,” he says. “What’s going on with the 50-year-olds running the place? That’s the story that’s missing.”

No Safe Spaces” hopes to fill in those blanks.

He compares the situation to the classic “Twilight Zone” episode featuring a young Bill Mumy as an all-powerful child. Remember how the character had the power to “wish” people into the cornfield? All the adults around him kowtowed to his every wish, no questions asked.

That’s what we’re seeing on today’s college campuses from the adults in the room, he says.

Carolla never went to college. His friends who did hoped to have a good time, not storm the dean’s office over microaggressions.

“They didn’t seem miserable like these kids,” he says.

Carolla wouldn’t mind if his twin children followed his own, self-made path. The veteran carpenter built his podcast career on his own terms, calling the shots himself along the way.

“Figure out what you want to do and go do it. Go intern,” he says. “Go out there and start learning. More than ever now you can do that.”

Carolla, currently working on documentaries about race car driver Willy T. Ribb and Los Angeles’ KROQ radio, says he hopes “No Safe Spaces” achieves what “An Inconvenient Truth” did a decade ago.

That climate change primer captivated the public debate no matter where you stand on the issue.

“I like the idea of people talking about it. That’s what we’re trying to do,” he says. And movies can have the most impact. Sure, talk radio, podcasting and print get the word out, but nothing is as potent as a film.

“Al Gore would have never gotten his message out without that theatrical release,” he says.

The team behind “No Safe Spaces” boasts it’s the movie Hollywood refuses to make. Chances are they’re right. Carolla says the production didn’t even try to woo mainstream studios to lend a hand.

“We always knew we weren’t getting help on this from a traditional route,” he says, recalling his own struggles to bring his smart indie movies (“The Hammer,” “Road Hard”) to the public.

Today’s technology allows almost anyone to bypass the studio system anyway, he argues.

“It’s a new world order anyway. We just need the people. I believe the message is going to resonate.”

Help support "No Safe Spaces" here.

Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, movie critic and editor of He previously served as associate editor with Breitbart News' Big Hollywood. Follow him at @HollywoodInToto.


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