Photo for feature story on Penn State Planned Event from Uncensored America (Sean Semanko)
Photo for feature story on Penn State Planned Event from Uncensored America

Sean Semanko



March 1, 2023

“Free speech” and “cancel culture” are common topics thrown around in the political world. A few months ago, there was an example of a planned event that questioned this: an organization by the name of Uncensored America were going orchestrate a comedy show at Penn State University, hosting the guest Gavin McInnes.


For context, McInnes is more well known as the founder of the group Proud Boys, which is a far-right political organization.


Associations are often made with the 2020 debate with former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. “Trump: Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s gotta do something about Antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem, this is a left-wing problem,” a transcription from EJ Dickson at


However, The SIREN newspaper met with Sean Semanko founder of Uncensored America to discuss the reasons for the comedy show. 

Mark Del Pozo

We are a free speech organization where we specialize in fighting back against cancel culture and censorship. We try to bring people that are censored and canceled like Gavin McInnes. He is a comedian that is banned from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook,” said Semanko. We want people to laugh and have different viewpoints at the table.”


The scheduled show ended up being canceled due to the protesting on campus. Video evidence of what took place beforehand was recorded.


Semanko explained his point of view on the situation: “I was pretty shocked because when we got there, we knew there would be security, but I did not expect there to be eight divisions of police there. Then, I saw horses come out and riot gear and rifle men on top of the roof.”


“I’m honestly confused. Even when Alex Stein went outside and talked to the protesters, he went out there. He’s one of the prime attractions of the event,” he said. “The worst thing that happened to him was he got spit on by a high schooler.”


After the call off of the event, Penn State University released a public statement: “UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With safety as the primary focus, Penn State University Police and Public Safety, in consultation with University leadership, canceled the Oct. 24 speaking event featuring two individuals known for denigrating and hate-filled remarks. The event was sponsored by the student group Uncensored America and was to include talks by Gavin McInnes and Alex Stein.


“As the direct result of escalating violence between protesters and supporters of the event outside the Thomas Building, a determination was made at 7 p.m. to discontinue the scheduled event.”


Writers for The SIREN reached out to Penn State and received this message in return: “Hello, your message was forwarded to Strategic Communications for response. The following public statements regarding the event in question have been issued and you may quote from them.

University critical of upcoming speakers for repugnant and denigrating rhetoric

A message from President Neeli Bendapudi on the cancellation of campus event

Penn State University Police and Public Safety statement on Oct. 24 events

In addition, this event was sponsored by a student organization, so any information on the event can be found on this unrelated page:



With the hiatus of what will happen next, Semanko makes a guess: “I will say that Alex Stein is suing Penn State for canceling this event, and he is going to hold their feet to the fire.”


“I mean, if we let this shut us down in any way, then they win,” said Semanko. “We are going to keep working with anyone that is censored and canceled.”

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About the Contributor
Jade Davis is a current senior writing and publishing major who works as the Senior editor-videographer-podcast creator-photojournalist position for the SIREN newspaper.

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