The University of Michigan cancelled and then rescheduled a public showing of “American Sniper” this past Tuesday due to students protesting the movie contained anti-Muslim sentiment. The movie was scheduled for a school wide festival called UMix, a non-mandatory event for students. The first petition carried out for the cancellation of the film was signed by a couple of hundred students, and Michigan University took action. The school responded with the following remarks: “Students’ reactions have clearly articulated that this is neither the venue nor the time to show this movie.” The movie was cancelled.
The Center for Campus Involvement released an apologetic statement saying “we deeply regret causing harm to members of our community, and appreciate the thoughtful feedback provided to us by students and staff alike. We in the Center for Campus Involvement and the UMix late night program did not intend to exclude any students or communities on campus through showing this film. Nevertheless, as we know intent and impact can be very different things. While our intent was to show a film, the impact of the content was harmful, and made students feel unsafe and unwelcome at our program.” The school later retracted their steps as students once again were not satisfied with the administration’s actions.
With the announcement of the cancellation of the film, the school’s student newspaper, Daily Michigan, once again voiced their opinions in protest against the school’s censorship. A second petition was circulated throughout the school, with comments from students stating “the movie American Sniper is not about racist mass murderer or a criminal. If the University prevents a movie like this from being shown, it promotes intolerance and stifles dialogue and debate on the subject and goes directly against the atmosphere UMix purports to provide.” With this response from students, the movie “American Sniper” was rescheduled to be shown for Friday’s event.