The University of Michigan reversed its decision to cancel the screening of “American Sniper” Wednesday in response to outcry around the country.
The college’s Vice President for Student Life said it was a mistake to cancel the screening.
“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,” E. Royster Harper said. “The movie will be shown at the originally scheduled time and location.”
The film was originally planned to be shown as part of the college’s social event series UMix, but after a protest petition garnered 300 signatures, the college canceled the screening.
“‘American Sniper’ not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim and anti-MENA [Muslim, Middle Eastern and North African] rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer,” parts of the letter said. “Chris Kyle was a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians.”
One high-profile University of Michigan official expressed excitement at the decision.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) April 9, 2015
The petition to halt the screening drew a separate petition to get the movie’s screening reinstated, as Rachel Jankowski, a third-year Law School student, created a petition to restore the showing.