The horrific tragedy that occurred in Paris this morning was more than an assault on human life.
The shooting deaths of 12 people in an attack at the office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was also an assault on freedom of speech and expression—and understandably that has rattled and angered those who create art of all kinds for a living.
CNN reported Wednesday that three suspects have been identified, two of whom are Paris-born brothers.
Asked about the attack on the paper, which had been the target of threats in the past for publishing cartoons spoofing militant Islam, Tina Feytold reporters at the Television Critics' Association press tour today, "Obviously this is terrible and tragic and upsetting. It makes you remember how important free speech is and must be defended. We all must stand firm on issue of free speech."
"We are Americans," Fey, who will be hosting the Golden Globes this Sunday with Amy Poehler, continued. "Even if it's just dumb jokes in The Interview, we have the right to make them."
"Terrible, terrible. Overwhelmingly sad," Meryl Streep told reporters when asked her thoughts at the London premiere of Into the Woods. "But the antidote for that is to live joyously, tolerantly and with attention."
"The fact that this was an attack on journalists, an attack on our free press, also underscores that these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press," President Barack Obama said in a speech from the Oval Office this morning. "A universal belief in the freedom of expression is something that can't be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few."
Actors' union SAG-AFTRA said in a statement: "SAG-AFTRA offers its condolences to families of the French journalists and police killed in the attack at Charlie Hebdo. Our thoughts are with all French citizens affected by this despicable act of terrorism.
"Journalists know that their jobs carry risks, but these brazen killings were particularly shocking in that these journalists were not operating in an overseas combat zone, but were at work in their own offices in a democratic nation. The right to free speech is not only enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, we believe it is a universal human right, and we oppose all those who seek to squelch free expression. Today, SAG-AFTRA stands with the French people and the worldwide journalism community. Our hearts are with you."
The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie has been active on Twitter all day today, used as a sign of solidarity with the victims, the citizens of Paris and any and all who know that attempts to bully and terrorize free nations into submission with threats and violence will not put a dent in our convictions.
Here's a sampling of the reactions emanating from the creators' corner of the Twitterverse, those who know that the cornerstone of their livelihoods is the right to read, write, poke fun and otherwise say what they want.
(Purefoy followed up with a tweet noting that the scene was in Lyon, not Paris.)