College Students Call For Professor To Be Removed For Teaching Shakespeare
University of Michigan removed professor Bright Sheng from teaching a seminar on Shakespeare because he showed Laurence Olivier's "Othello."
We have another ridiculous example of cancel culture run amok on college campuses. This time, a professor is under fire for showing a “controversial” (I put controversial in quotes because it is only controversial if you’re a 19-year-old child) classic performance to his students.
The professor was removed from teaching a seminar analyzing the works of Shakespeare for committing the heinous crime of showing Shakespeare.
Bright Sheng ignited controversy on Sept. 10 by showing students the 1965 film version of Shakespeare’s “Othello,” according to The Michigan Daily, which featured acclaimed actor Laurence Olivier in blackface.
The image reportedly invaded the safe space inhabited by today’s cancel-culture generation of college students.
The reactions from the fragile students are hysterical:
“I was stunned,” freshman Olivia Cook told The Michigan Daily. “In such a school that preaches diversity and making sure that they understand the history of POC (people of color) in America, I was shocked that (Sheng) would show something like this in something that’s supposed to be a safe space.”
College As A Safe Space?
First off, where did the ludicrous idea that college is supposed to be a “safe space” come from?
And second, how does viewing one of the most iconic performances of the Bard’s work make you feel unsafe?
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Do students think Othello will hop out of the screen and smother them with a pillow? Will it trigger a classmate to double-cross someone by pretending to steal their girl? The hysteria seems to enmesh them all.
Bright Sheng survived Mao’s Cultural Revolution but he might not survive a couple of whiny Michigan students being shown a film version of “Othello” https://t.co/I29WjzJdtp
— Christian Schneider (@Schneider_CM) October 8, 2021
The charge is that Bright Sheng didn’t “properly prepare” his students for watching Olivier’s Othello.
What does that mean? Do you have to put out a blanket and hot cocoa every time you show a movie? I’m not against discussing the performance and how the portrayal of Othello wouldn’t fly today.
Moreover, I get the feeling students would be attacking this professor regardless of what happened.
Who Is Bright Sheng?
Bright Sheng, the aforementioned fired professor, is a world-renowned composer. Sheng is a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and a winner of the MacArthur “Geinus Grant” for his multi-cultural orchestral compositions.
Orchestras have performed Sheng’s work worldwide, including at the 2008 Summer Olympics in his native China. His work blends eastern and western music styles to create a unique global sound.
Bright Sheng is one of the most accomplished contemporary composers in the world. That doesn’t matter to many sensitive children who grew up believing every feeling they felt was someone else’s fault.
Is Cancel Culture Out Of Control?
Oh, you need more of an explanation on that?
Cancel culture isn’t about “accountability,” as its defenders proclaim. Accountability should come with redemption and a chance to get better, but there is no such thing in most of these cases.
However, cancel culture is about punishment and silencing those who disagree with you.
What’s ironic is that the people who are the fiercest “cancelers” continuously preach kindness and tolerance.
By kindness, they mean “don’t hurt my feelings,” and by tolerance, they mean to only be tolerant of viewpoints that exactly match theirs.
Is cancel culture out of control? Share your thoughts in the comments below.