New Video: How Washington State Censored a Student Musical
February 8, 2011
by Jaclyn Hall
In a new video from the 2010 Campus Freedom Network (CFN) Conference, former Washington State University (WSU) student Chris Lee discusses how administrators at WSU subsidized a group of protesters to disrupt his satirical play, Passion of the Musical.
When he wrote, directed, and produced Passion of the Musical in 2005, Chris sought to create a show "so offensive to everyone, they would have to speak about things that are important to them." After WSU officials received a complaint, however, the school bought a block of tickets for protesters to attend the play. These protesters shouted down the action on stage, and even physically threatened the actors, while campus police stood by and declined to intervene. Appallingly, WSU defended the hecklers, saying they were responsibly exercising the right of free speech. However, the university eventually reversed its position after FIRE took the case public.