Boston U. President Criticizes Graduates for Shouting ‘Obscenities’ During Discovery CEO’s Commencement Speech
“They were attempting to implement the cancel culture that has become all too prevalent on university campuses”
Some students shouted at Warner Bros. head David Zaslav, criticizing him over the writer strike.
The Boston Globe reports:
Outgoing BU president denounces graduates for shouting down media mogul at commencement
Outgoing Boston University president Robert A. Brown on Wednesday denounced demonstrators at the school’s May 21 commencement for acting in a “coarse and deliberately abusive” manner toward the speaker, Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav, who was met with obscenities by a “small minority” of protesters voicing support for striking TV and film writers.
“A handful of students shouted obscenities at Mr. Zaslav. I flinched, as my reaction harkened back to my teen years, over half a century ago, on the south side of San Antonio, Tex.,” Brown said in a statement posted to BU Today, a university publication.
“In that era, shouting the words that I heard from the field would be the precursor to a fistfight,” Brown said. “I can’t imagine how Mr. Zaslav felt hearing these obscenities directed at him.”
Brown, who in September announced he would be stepping down at the end of the academic year, said he apologized to Zaslav for the demonstrators’ conduct.
“They were attempting to implement the cancel culture that has become all too prevalent on university campuses,” Brown said. “The hundreds of virtually identical protest emails we received in my office in advance of Commencement came with an explicit ‘cancel’ hashtag, indicating an aim to prevent Mr. Zaslav from speaking.”
The university faced criticism from students and alumni over its choice of Zaslav, a graduate of its law school, as the commencement speaker during a strike by the Writers Guild of America demanding better pay, job security, and limits on the use of artificial intelligence to create content.
Outside Nickerson Field, more than 100 demonstrators were in place late morning to picket, holding signs and chanting pro-union slogans. During the ceremony, throngs of students booed Zaslav, turned their backs on him, and waved signs with pro-union messages.
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