Ole Miss students disrupt play with 'anti-gay slurs'

cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57605956/ole-miss-students-disrupt-play-with-anti-gay-slurs/

A University of Mississippi professor says that a group of Ole Miss students, including football players, disrupted a production of a campus play with “hate speech” on Tuesday night.

Michael Barnett, the assistant theater chair, said that several students in the play told him that audience members were disruptive and used “derogatory terms” for homosexuals during a production of “The Laramie Project” on campus. The play is based on the murder of Matthew Shepard, University of Wyoming college student who was beated and killed.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze confirmed to The Associated Press Thursday that football players were in the crowd. Barnett says a group of football players apologized after the play.

“Several of the students said they did not feel the apology was genuine,” Barnett said. “They seemed to feel that (the football players) didn’t realize what it was that they were apologizing for.”

Freeze tweeted on Thursday morning, “We certainly do not condone any actions that offend or hurt people in any way. We are working with all departments involved to find the facts.”

The Daily Mississippian first reported the disruption.

Matthew Shepard was a gay University of Wyoming college student who was beaten and left for dead in a Wyoming pasture near Laramie, Wyo., on Oct. 7, 1998.

Barnett said that members of the audience grew more disruptive - taking pictures on their phone and laughing - as the play progressed. “The Laramie Project” is about reaction in the city following the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay man in Wyoming.

“As the subject matter became more uncomfortable, some, but not all, of the students were acting in an inappropriate manner,” Barnett said.

Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said the department was still gathering information and did not immediately have comment.

Barnett said he “appreciated” that the athletic department was taking the matter seriously.

“The most concerning part was the hate speech that was used,” Barnett said. “We’ve come a long way at the university. But there is still a ways to go.”

Ole Miss dean of students Sparky Reardon said a bias incident response team, which is made up of faculty and staff, would investigate the incident and make any discipline recommendations to the university.

No. 24 Ole Miss travels to play at Auburn on Saturday.

This sort of thing just reinforces the idea that opposition to homosexuality is “hateful.” Because the way these kids acted really is just hateful.

Who writes this stuff:

Michael Barnett, the assistant theater chair, said that several students in the play told him that audience members were disruptive and used “derogatory terms” for homosexuals during a production of “The Laramie Project” on campus. The play is based on the murder of Matthew Shepard, University of Wyoming college student who was beated and killed.

Does a journalism degree require any English classes?

George Orwell would be proud:

Ole Miss dean of students Sparky Reardon said a bias incident response team, which is made up of faculty and staff, would investigate the incident and make any discipline recommendations to the university.

They need to have a response team for this sort of thing? Do they wear helmets and carry automatic weapons, one wonders?

The article as cited doesn’t tell us enough to know a thing.

To what were these students reacting? Was it revolting? Was it some kind of unwarranted condemnation of townspeople? Or was it just the fact that Shepherd was homosexual?

What did the students say? We don’t know any of that.

It is always so revealing that the people quoted in these articles speak of “hate speech,” “derogatory terms,” and “disruptive behavior,” but don’t actually give any examples. It is as if they know that people will know they are overreacting if we are told what the actual behavior was.

I recall acting that way during Charlie’s Angels 2, was I being hateful to bad actors, 1970s TV shows or bad movies? Granted I was at a theatre that promotes that kind of behavior.

The fact they couldn’t provoke the emotional response they wanted may be a problem with the story or actors instead of the audience.

Then read a few more articles and find out. Because if you look you’ll see more details. ‘Aniti-gay slurs’ is right in the thread title. What do you think it was?

I wonder the same thing. Possibly, this whole play narrative may be false according to:

amazon.com/The-Book-Matt-Matthew-Shepard/dp/1586422146

Don’t know exactly what was said, but I’d tend to agree with this.

I doubt that what was said was something like what peaceful CAF posters would say on here about the Church’s view on homosexuality.

More like self-described macho guys trying to prove their supposed masculinity by showing how much they hate gays. I used to know guys like that; I was a victim of their nonsense, and I’m not sympathetic in the least.

Now don’t go bringing facts into this thread. We have a perfectly good case of promotional victimhood complete with a bias incident response team to add just the right level of absurdity that one comes to expect from colleges in America.

What kind of person doesn’t think that a college student using their cell phone at an inappropriate time would not lead to a charge of homophobia? It’s a given.

On the assumption that you, like I, know nothing more about it than what’s in the aricle, are we really justified in condemning those men?

All we know from the article is that they were laughing. Was it a stupid play? Was it schmaltzy and insipid? Was it overdone to the point of deserving ridicule? We don’t know. What were the “uncomfortable” parts, and why were they “uncomfortable”? To whom would they be “uncomfortable”? Were they offensive to any reasonable audience? We don’t know.

“Sparky”?

Well if the play was so bad the audience became disruptive then I think Ol’ Miss ought to be grateful they didn’t bombard the stage with that good ol’ tradition of rotten eggs and tomatoes.

For some reason that evoked a memory of Huckleberry Finn and the grifters that put on a stage show.

As I said I don’t know exactly what was said.

The article did say “anti-gay slurs.” This seems to imply actual words that have a negative value, not just using a cell phone during the play or laughing at the bad acting.

I stand by my interpretation based on my life experience with outwardly masculine young men (e.g., athletes) bashing gays just to prove they’re not like that.

I wasn’t necessarily agreeing with the viewpoint presented in the play.

I googled the incident. The students were using words like “f**” and general crude language. Such talk is not appropriate no matter your stance on homosexuality. Nor is making light of an incident leading to the murder of any human being.

Ole Miss football players heckled theater performers with homosexual slurs during a show put on by Ole Miss’ theater department on Tuesday night, the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Mississippian, reports.

The play, entitled “The Laramie Project,” was based on the story of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay male student at the University of Wyoming who was murdered in Laramie County, Wyo., in 1999. The players in attendance reportedly became so disruptive that the performers had trouble finishing the play.

According to the play’s director and theater faculty member Rory Ledbetter, some audience members used derogatory slurs like “fag” and heckled both cast members and the characters they were portraying for their body types and sexual orientations. Ledbetter said the audience’s reactions included “borderline hate speech.”
“I am the only gay person on the cast,” junior theater major Garrison Gibbons said. “I played a gay character in the show, and to be ridiculed like that was something that really made me realize that some people at Ole Miss and in Mississippi still can’t accept me for who I am.”

college-football.si.com/2013/10/03/ole-miss-football-players-disrupt-theater/

I predict that “Sensitivity Management Resources” will soon be an official major for university students seeking bachelor degrees - possibly within 5 years or so.:wink:

Thanks for the two follow-ups.

Just as I thought it was.

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