After an intense public backlash, the University of Michigan has reversed course and announced that it will, indeed, proceed with a screening of the movie American Sniper this Friday as planned, the Michigan Daily is reporting.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the University of Michigan had planned to show the controversial 2014 movie about an Iraq War veteran struggling with PTSD until a group of Muslim students complained. The university chose to screen Paddington, a children’s movie about a teddy bear, instead.
The backlash from that decision was immediate and intense. Derek Draplin of the Michigan Review opined that the decision to cancel the screening of American Sniper was based on anti-American propaganda.
“The only place the [Muslim students are] getting their presuppositions from is propaganda, rather than the content of this film.”
Hot Air writer Ed Morrissey had even stronger words about the decision.
“The question still remains why the University of Michigan initially caved to the quasi-fascist demands to silence any expression of speech to which a tiny minority of its students objected.”
Even University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh had some choice words about the decision, tweeting that he and the football team would be enjoying a screening of American Sniper with or without the university’s approval, according to Fox News.
Michigan Football will watch “American Sniper”! Proud of Chris Kyle & Proud to be an American & if that offends anybody then so be it!
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) April 9, 2015
On Wednesday, the university reversed that decision. E. Royster Harper, vice president of Student Life, explained why the decision was made.
“It was a mistake to cancel the showing of the movie American Sniper on campus as part of a social event for students. The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression and our respect for the right of students to make their own choices in such matters. We recognize, however, that some students are uncomfortable with the content of the movie, and appreciate that concern.”
Student Rachel Jankowski praised the decision to proceed with showing American Sniper.
“This is a widely acclaimed, non-controversial movie celebrating an American hero, and it should not be stifled because of an exaggerated worry that it may offend someone. To see hundreds of students, faculty, and even Coach Harbaugh, rally behind this movie, shows the broad consensus of support that American Sniper enjoys across the entire University of Michigan community.”
University of Michigan students who were excited about seeing Paddington instead of American Sniper need not despair: The movie about the teddy bear will also be shown Friday night on a different screen elsewhere on campus.
Do you think the University of Michigan made the right decision or the wrong decision to reverse course and agree to screen American Sniper? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/hxdbzxy]