Captive Audience

A captive audience is a person or group of people forcibly subjected to view or hear expression in the use of  places where they are reasonably unable to avoid seeing or hearing the expression.

The "captive audience" doctrine is the belief that in certain places, individuals have a right to avoid offensive speech. Therefore, it serves as an exception to the First Amendment rights of artists-- but only in some locales.

A person's home is the primary environment where courts have said that a person has the right to "shut herself up in her own ideas." Hynes v. Mayor of Oradell, 425 U.S. 610 (1976). 

Other places where the captive audience doctrine has been applied are public transportation and workplaces. However, not all jurisdictions agree as to what types of places an individual may be "captive."

Related Cases

Close v. Lederle--An art instructor challenged the removal of his works by university officials. 

Erzoznik v. City of Jacksonville--Eroznik challenged the city's ordinance which prohibited showing movies containing nudity at drive-in theaters if the screen could be seen from a public space. 

These materials are not intended, and should not be used, as legal advice. They necessarily contain generalizations that are not applicable in all jurisdictions or circumstances. Moreover, court decisions may be superseded by subsequent rulings, and may be subject to alternative interpretations. Corrections, clarification, and additions are welcome here.