Double Backflip: American Sniper Back on at UM
April 09, 2015
Finger-in-the-wind University of Michigan administrators reversed themselves and agreed to show American Sniper at the previously announced time and place after initially banning the record-grossing 2014 movie.
The reversal came after incoming Wolverine football coach Jim Harbaugh tweeted that he would be showing the film to the team and that he was "proud of (sniper) Chris Kyle and proud to be an American." If that offended anyone, Harbaugh said, "so be it."
As the Detroit Free Press reported, the university administration then beat a hasty retreat:
"It was a mistake to cancel the showing of the movie 'American Sniper' on campus as part of a social event for students," the statement from E. Royster Harper, the vice president of student life, said. It was sent just after 10:45 p.m. to the media.
"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.
"The movie will be shown at the originally scheduled time and location. We recognize, however, that some students are uncomfortable with the content of the movie, and appreciate that concern.
"Therefore, the university also will show an alternative movie, "Paddington," in another location on campus at that same time and date to provide our students with additional options that evening."
Well, I guess that constitutes one small victory for freedom of expression. Those who prefer the antics of a fuzzy-wuzzy, pot-smoking bear can watch that, in a "safe" environment, free from fear of "triggering." Of course, if Ann Arbor isn't safe enough for them, there are other places in the world. I recommend Yemen.