Written by Emma Kinery
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After a letter circulated by concerned students caused the University to cancel a showing of the film “American Sniper,” the Center for Campus Involvement will still show the film at its regularly scheduled UMix event Friday night, according to a statement by E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life.
Earlier today, CCI announced the organization would show the film at a separate time, and the film “Paddington” would replace the film’s slot at UMix. However, according to Harper, the movie will be shown at the originally scheduled location at UMix, along with the alternative “Paddington” movie. “Paddington” will be screened at another location on campus.
“It was a mistake to cancel the showing of the movie “American Sniper” on campus as part of a social event for students,” she said. “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.”
“We recognize, however, that some students are uncomfortable with the content of the movie, and appreciate that concern,” she added.
Before Harper’s statement, CCI announced plans to reschedule the showing of “American Sniper” at the University in on its Facebook page Wednesday.
“The Center for Campus Involvement understands that there are many perspectives regarding the film American Sniper,” the statement read. “…We are planning to screen American Sniper separately from the upcoming UMix event, in a forum that provides an appropriate space for dialogue and reflection.”
Tuesday morning, after discovering UMix — a University-sponsored social event held most Friday nights — was planning to show the film “American Sniper,” LSA sophomore Lamees Mekkaoui wrote to the Center for Campus Involvement regarding her concerns about the film’s showing.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, “American Sniper” is based on the autobiography of U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, who gained recognition for having the most confirmed kills by a sniper in U.S. military history during his service in Iraq.
While some see it as a film as a testament to American nationalism, others, like Mekkaoui, felt the film inspired anti-Muslim sentiment and did not think it was appropriate to show at UMix, which is generally a positive and safe alternative to other Friday night activities.