Monday, May 5, 2014

Pasadena City College Commencement Speaker Fiasco

Dustin Lance Black and his Oscar, won for the screenplay for "Milk."
In case you've been following this story as we at Dissent have, here's perhaps the best writeup about it: from Robin Abcarian's column in the LA Times:
To Pasadena City College's Class of 2014:

     I am honored that you have chosen me today to give a fake commencement speech about your school's botched search for a commencement speaker.
     We can learn so many lessons from the way college officials mishandled the job:
     They invited distinguished PCC alumnus Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Milk," to be your speaker.
     They disinvited him over a sex tape but forgot to tell him.
     They replaced him with a public health doctor/Christian fundamentalist preacher who believes children's cartoons are satanic and once boasted of refusing to treat a prisoner who had a pentagram tattoo.
     After many of you objected to his anti-gay views, they claimed the doctor had a scheduling conflict.
     They apologized to Black.
     Then they reinvited him to speak.
     As you close this chapter of your lives and begin to write the next one, always remember that if you do something that embarrasses you, your institution or a Hollywood heavyweight, you should lie about it, blame someone else, pretend it was all a misunderstanding or call your lawyer...
To read the rest - and you should! -  click here.
     Over the weekend, Abcarian reports that Black has agreed to  be speaker: " I've said it before and I'll say it again,” Black told the campus newspaper. “It will be my honor to deliver the commencement address for PCC's graduating class of 2014."
     Class act, that Dustin Lance Black.  Can't say the same for the PCC administration.



Anonymous said...

How embarrassing for Pasadena. And I feel embarrassed for humanity too - come on people. Geez.

Anonymous said...

We should have alums as our commencement speakers.

The idiot abroad: insane, insulting, incendiary

Trump, May and Brexit: today's front pages (Guardian UK) "He's not my hero! I'm a communist, you idiot!' ...