Clarification (10:12 p.m. Friday): As UNC School of Law student Jonathan Jones commented below, Larry Flynt’s speech is free and open to the public, but a ticket is required. The Great Hall of the UNC Student Union only holds 500 people, so you’ll need a free ticket to reserve a space. The prices noted below apply to the second day of the symposium, which includes three panel discussions and runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. February 19.
Larry Flynt will come to UNC next month to deliver a speech on sexually explicit language and material.
The controversial pornography maven and founder of Hustler is the keynote speaker for the UNC’s First Amendment Law Review Symposium, the eighth annual event put on by the student organization and journal.
“When you talk about the First Amendment, and you talk about controversy, one person comes to mind, and it’s Larry Flynt,” said Symposium Editor David Wicclair, a third-year law student from Pittsburgh.
Flynt will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 18 in the Great Hall of the UNC Student Union. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $10 for senior citizens and students from other institutions. UNC students, faculty and staff can get in for free. They go on sale Feb. 1 at the Student Union Box Office.
Past symposiums have focused on cyber speech, free speech at work and religion in public schools, but Wicclair said the group sought a topic that would draw in new people, not only academics.
“We really thought there hadn’t been a symposium on pornography or sexually explicit content, and we figured that’s a fairly pertinent issue in First Amendment law that would really spur some debate,” he said.
Flynt has a long history of fighting for First Amendment freedoms, having been sent to jail for “pandering obscenity” and serving as a party in the landmark 1988 Supreme Court case Hustler Magazine v. Fallwell, which established that public figures cannot gain damages for intentional emotional distress caused by parodies. You can view the potentially offensive content that ignited that case here.
Flynt the subject of a 1996 movie staring Woody Harrelson.
UNC got him to agree to appear free of charge, save for hotel expense and a ride from the airport.
He’ll give a 10- or 15-minute speech before taking questions from professors who’ll moderate the discussion. The public will also get a chance to address him.
“If you disagree with Mr. Flynt, that’s great,” Wicclair said. “We want you there, and we want you to tell him why you disagree and have a thoughtful debate.”
If you plan to attend, the below video will give you a good primer.