A screening of the 2014 Academy Award™-nominated movie American Sniper scheduled for Friday after a group of Muslim students complained, The College Fix is reporting.
Paddington, a children’s movie about a teddy bear, will be shown in its place.
American Sniper tells the story of U.S. Navy SEAL and Iraq War veteran Chris Kyle, who won several military honors during four tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom, but struggled with PTSD when he returned home.
In a petition to have the screening cancelled, a group of Muslim students at the University of Michigan took exception to American Sniper‘s portrayal of Muslims, and complained that the movie glorified what they saw as Kyle’s murderous tendencies.
“Chris Kyle was a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians. Middle Eastern characters in the film are not lent an ounce of humanity and watching this movie is provocative and unsafe to [Middle Eastern and North African] and Muslim students who are too often reminded of how little the media and world values their lives. … The University of Michigan should not participate in further perpetuating these negative and misleading stereotypes.”
The University agreed with the Muslim students’ complaint and chose to cancel the screening of American Sniper.
“While our intent was to show a film, the impact of the content was harmful, and made students feel unsafe and unwelcomed at our program. We deeply regret causing harm to members of our community, and appreciate the thoughtful feedback provided to us by students and staff alike.”
In a tweet that has since been deleted, the University announced that they would show a different film in place of American Sniper this Friday.
Not everybody around Ann Arbor was pleased with the decision to cancel American Sniper in favor of a movie about a talking teddy bear, according to CBS Detroit. Derek Draplin, Editor in Chief of the Michigan Review, issued a statement condemning the decision.
“The only place the [Muslim students are] getting their presuppositions from is propaganda, rather than the content of this film. This film is about the grim face of war that has sent so many veterans home with mental damage that their families must deal with. It is about an American hero who gave everything to serve his country and protect our freedoms. The [Muslim students are] subverting reality by claiming otherwise.”
Do you think the University of Michigan made the right decision or the wrong decision to cancel American Sniper after Muslim students complained? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.