University of Michigan Relents, Will Show American Sniper as Originally Planned. And Paddington Too!


When the drama surrounding the showing of a movie is more intense than the drama in the movie itself, something has gone wrong. Especially when a university of all places is involved.

Yesterday, Reason reported that the University of Michigan pulled a planned showing of the Oscar-winning movie American Sniper after students protested that the Clint Eastwood flick "not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim…rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer."

Michigian administrators responded by spiking the movie and replacing it with, no shit, Paddington. Then they semi-relented and announced

plans to show "American Sniper" in a separate location from the UMix program, in what it said would be "a forum that provides an appropriate space for dialogue and reflection."

Now comes news that, no, no, the university—generally regarded as one an outstanding academic institution—will now show American Sniper as planned. Via Foxnews.com:

University Vice President for Student Life E. Royster Harper called the decision to cancel the Friday night showing a "mistake" in a statement.

"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," Harper said. "The movie will be shown at the originally scheduled time and location."

And for all the students who wanted to see Paddington? They too will be made whole:

Harper added that the university will also screen the family-friendly film "Paddington" as an alternative.

More here.

All's well that ends well, I suppose, but with each turn of the outrage wheel, something beyond useless energy gets expended. At a certain point, these predictable and preventable cycles wear down even the most stalwart of defenders of open discourse and expression, giving way to exhaustion. Universities have always been generally craven when it comes to defending the very values upon which they flourish. But in an era of trigger warnings and micro-aggressions, there comes to a time when, to paraphrase American Sniper director Clint Eastwood in a very different context, an institution's got to know its limitations and start standing up for free speech and open intellectual inquiry.

Hat tip: Hit & Run reader Aaron Lanning.

NEXT: Andrew Napolitano on Indiana's Clumsy Embrace of 'Religious Freedom'

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  1. Thye have convictions as steady as a weathervane.

    1. At least the wind actually blew in the right direction this time.

      1. blew

        You need a trigger warning, but we’ll let it slide for now.

        1. Trigger Warnings are triggering to me.

          1. Indeed, all universities should make it clear that anyone has the right to assert an opinion, as long as this is done in a polite manner and as long as no internal disruption of campus order is triggered by the dissemination of them there recalcitrant and dangerous viewpoints. If anyone engages in provocative satire or other forms of uncivil speech, the police should be called in immediately to put a stop to any potential unrest. At New York University, we know how to take action when action is called for. See the documentation of a criminal satire prosecution that we filed in the courts when some of that there campus expression got out of hand, and that we have been carefully managing since then:


        2. slide

          Without a trigger warning, really?

          1. It’s trigger warnings all the way down!

            1. Down? You dare? Where’s my trigger!

              Ahhh, right where it belongs, in my rifle. Dang, that was close.

  2. Harper added that the university will also screen the family-friendly film “Paddington” as an alternative.

    It had jolly well better be shown in “a forum that provides an appropriate space for dialogue and reflection.”

    What a bunch of craven clowns.

  3. Really Paddington seems like a more appropriate film. Everyone knows 21st century colleges are basically expensive daycare centers.

    1. +1 Romper Room

      1. Don’t be a “Don’t Bee”!

        1. Magic Mirror birthdays for one and all (sans male and female pronouns).

          1. “…And I see Fist, and ProLib, and Sloopy, and Buttplug, and Wart…..dear GOD!!!”

        2. But do do a doobie

  4. Of course, all this public “debate” has allowed the aggrieved time to organize themselves. I would anticipate protests at the showing of American Sniper that will either prevent many people attending the film or end up with campus security and/or admin cancelling the showing after all in the name of public safety.

    1. this wouldn’t have even happened if their spring football game was worth watching. But no, their football program has to suck so bad thatnthemNF story on campus is a debate over a movie but a bunch of intellectual midgets.

      I blame Brady Hoke.

      1. Word salad=that the big

        1. Wow. That was a one hell of a failed auto-correct.

          scUM manages to redeem themselves in at least one area. Still waiting for a contest on the 4th Saturday in November.

    2. Hand out wooden sniper rifles. That’ll give them something else to worry about.

  5. Perhaps the UofM film studies department could use this as a compare-and-contrast exercise. The CGI animated bear in Paddington is far more realistic than the “newborn baby” in American Sniper.

  6. The modern university culture, in many places, seems to be hell bent on creating the most thin-skinned, whiny bunch of entitled people ever to inhabit the earth.

  7. What astounded me is the continual use of words like ‘safe place’. Apparently these crybabies are afraid of there being a US Army sniper on campus who might shoot them (as he, according to them, shot all Muslims he saw). Truly the world (or at least the Southeast Michigan part of it) has gone mad…

  8. Unfortunately, the damage to the reputation of the University (and to the university system in general) is already done.


    1. +1

      That’s also the argument the gun grabbers employ.

      “I’m so mad at you that if I had a gun right now I’d shoot you. Therefore, everybody should be prevented from owning guns.”

      Fucking losers. Their lack of impulse control is no right to take my fundamental rights away.

  9. Maybe Kyle can pop a cap in Paddington?

    1. Lives and swords and all that.

  10. Hail to the victors valiant!
    Hail to the conqu’ring heros!

    1. Appropriate since it seems that football coach Jim Harbaugh may have played a key role:

      “Michigan’s vice president of student life E. Royster Harper issued a statement late Wednesday night and less than 90 minutes after Harbaugh’s tweet that said the movie was back on as originally scheduled.”


      1. Perhaps they will finally put up a fight in the late fall.

  11. I suggest an American Sniper + Paddington mashup.

    1. Close enough = Apocalypse Pooh (1987)

      personally i think it fails after the mirror scene. to be fair, this was made when “dubs were hard(er)”. Although, hardly really. I did some video editing in college, and while archaic by todays standards, you could still sync things.

  12. What is so hard to understand? If any of these hypersensitive jagoffs actually bothered to ? I don’t know ? actually WATCH the movie they’d understand that this is not as black and white as detractors are making it out to be. To not depict Kyle shooting adherents of the “religion of peace” would be to deny the very context of how it effected him as a human being. It wasn’t as if after every Muslim was shot they broke out into a fucking beer party conga line in celebration. For the mercy of the God Emperor people, go and see the film before condemning it as purely jingoistic propaganda.

    1. The problem with your eminently sensible suggestion is that you presume you’re dealing with adults capable of making judgements beyond the level of five-year-olds. That isn’t at all clear to me.

  13. A bunch of ragheads get their man-dress in a wad, and suddenly it’s Paddington Bear Day at a major university.
    It would be so refreshing for some university, any university, to tell these foreign students who are continuously upset at the idea of free speech that sharia has not quite yet reached our shores. Let them go to school in England, where Londonistan is in full flower and the British have decided that they’d rather live under sharia than give a single gun to a cop.

    1. A bunch of ragheads

      Is that who made a big stink about it? Usually it’s middle/upper class white liberals who are the offended ones. They’re kinda like this busybody PTA moms. You know the ones, it’s not enough to have their own problems and have to butt in to everyone else’s business?

  14. there comes to a time when, to paraphrase American Sniper director Clint Eastwood in a very different context

    Nobody, I mean NOBODY puts ketchup on a hot dog!

    1. +1 Magnum Force

  15. “So, Mr. Pooh, Piglet has been missing for a week. But you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”

    “No, officer – now won’t you sit down and have some of my home-cooked country ham?”

  16. I really wish i were still in college. I’d be willing to put up with the current retardation (and rape!!!!!) in exchange for the opportunity troll the SJWs using their own tactics (e.g., pointing out the microaggressions running rampant in Paddington, such as glamourization of a colonial power, and demanding that the film not be shown).

    1. Go ahead, they never check ID.

  17. My Aunty Mackenzie recently got a nearly new blue Toyota Venza by working part time online… website here ????????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  18. ” … an institution’s got to know its limitations and start standing up for free speech and open intellectual inquiry…”

    Ya think? But there will be howls and gnashing of teeth!! Oh my!!

  19. “plans to show “American Sniper” in a separate location from the UMix program, in what it said would be “a forum that provides an appropriate space for dialogue and reflection.”

    In Plain English, which some readers just might have some recollection of, some academicians too, what exactly does the above comment, quoted from the article, amount to, or in blunter terms, what in blazes is the U of M saying here?

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