A public California university blocked Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla from co-hosting a program on campus, purportedly due to “logistics” concerns, but the duo is fighting back.
Attorney Kurt Schlichter (whom many readers will know from Twitter, @KurtSchlichter) sent a letter to California State University-Northridge president Dianne Harrison questioning the “logistics” reasoning and informing her:
“It appears your institution may have caused damage by committing unlawful content-based discrimination against my client and others.
“It is disturbing that a public university would seek to remove an event from its campus because of the ‘content’ involved,” the attorney wrote. “To then back down from the ‘content’ claim and now use a laughable ‘logistics’ excuse is also disturbing.”
The event would have been included in the duo’s upcoming documentary, “No Safe Spaces,” examining the lack of free speech and free thought on college campuses. According to Schlichter’s letter, the university led the filmmakers to believe the venue was available for rental and strung them along for six weeks, never mentioning any concerns, and that the university kept changing its story about why they couldn’t close the deal.
Eventually, Justin Folk and R.J. Moeller, who were conducting the venue negotiations, were informed that “people higher up the food chain” were not happy about the event’s planned content and that the appearance might cause students to protest. Then they received a letter stating that “The scope and logistics around the event is just not feasible.”
Rentals at CSUN are handled by The University Corporation, whose president, Rick Evans, emailed a statement to The Hollywood Reporter claiming:
“Based on the typical end of semester increased activity, The University Corporation determined that this rental request could not be accommodated. At no point was the rental approved. Representatives made an inquiry, and logistics could not be accommodated.”
Evans additionally told The College Fix that loose ends hadn’t been tied up:
No walk thru with the appropriate CSUN technical folks had yet occurred, and it was becoming difficult to coordinate. Knowing that post-tech walks always result in more demands on university staff, by mid-November, based on lack of clarity, very short preparation time left, I determined that it could not be accommodated. This was in the best interest of all involved.
It sounds like a lot of stammering and excuses are coming out of college representatives now that their plan to keep a free exchange of ideas off of their campus has been brought to light. Since CSUN is a public institution, they have an obligation to not discriminate, and to allow free speech. If Prager and Carolla were, say, Sarah Silverman and Bernie Sanders, you can be sure the red carpet would have been rolled out.
We will all be watching future developments in this case with a big bowl of popcorn at our sides.