Shorewood High School canceled the production hours before it was scheduled to debut, to the dismay of both supporters and planned protesters.
Any art institution that displays art about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict – or even art that is created by Israeli or Palestinian artists – needs to carefully navigate a space between intense pressures coming from right-wing pro-Israel groups and calls for boycott from supporters of the cultural BDS movement.
During a year of marked ideological divisions, the right to free expression has been challenged by everyone from the alt-right to the far left. Our core values have been attacked by activists across the political spectrum. In this tumultuous year, we commend the allies who refuse to be silenced and continue to defend the right to free speech and its value to our society.
Brandeis University has had to cancel a scheduled production of a play by Michael Weller after the playwright and the Theater Department failed to come to terms as to how the play would be presented.
The AJHS has sent a chilling and un-democratic message that art and voices that dissent from pro-Israel
orthodoxy are not to be tolerated.
The brief argues that freedom of speech includes the ability to facilitate the free international exchange of people and ideas.
Howard J. Kopel’s interpretation of the Nassau anti-BDS legislation seeks to punish an individual purely for expressing First Amendment-protected views.
Were institutions like Lincoln Center to yield to calls for cancellation coming from the BDS movement or elsewhere, any ensuing conversation would be much impoverished and further polarized.
“The fact is that, for hundreds of years, this particular play has been understood to be a critique of political violence, not an endorsement of it.”
NCAC argues that keeping children from viewing artistic representations of nudes does not ‘protect’ them; rather, it imposes the religion-based view that the nude human body is shameful.
The letter demands a public apology from the City of Burnsville and urges the City to develop a formal policy governing artistic programming at the Ames Center to ensure it is in compliance with First Amendment requirements.
The groups maintain that although the school should and must aim to create a positive learning environment free from racism and hostility, the decision to cancel the play fails to further this objective
The play offers a perspective on the experience of growing up biracial — or “mulatto,” a dated term used to describe a person with one black and one white parent.
The decision to cancel the play was understandable, given the controversy around the photo, but was it the best decision that could have been made?
A California university nixed a performance of a comedy intended to diminish the potency of racial slurs on the grounds “the performance wasn’t achieving the goal of constructing a dialogue about racial relations.”
A high school production of ‘The Producers’ is altered after parents complain about swastikas on stage.
A claim of copyright infringement attempts to shut down a show about the silencing of women.
A local businessman wants a Florida city council to bar performances in a publicly-owned theater that he deems inappropriate.
After complaints, a Florida Jewish community center cancels performances of a play about the Israel-Palestine conflict.
After a censorship controversy over ‘American Idiot’ grabbed headlines, NCAC and other free speech groups offer advice on how the school can turn this into a learning experience, and protect students’ artistic freedom going forward.