I caught this today on the "Hartford Courant" (Hartford, Connecticut) newspaper Web site (http://www.ctnow.com) today. The short of it: A Wesleyan University student wants to make a movie in which the characters act in a porn film. There would be a hard-core film-within-a-film in the picture. But, his attempt to obtain casting among the normally-liberal student body has made enemies -- and the university has instructed him to not make the film. (Censorship, anyone?)
Since the "Courant" doesn't keep news articles online for more than 24 hours, I'm including the text here. It seems that hard-core sex doesn't even merit First Amendment protection these days -- not even on a college campus, which is supposed to be a bastion of free speech.
Notice the focus on "safety" that Wesleyan uses to justify its censorship. To quote Helen Lovejoy on "The Simpsons": Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!?!???
Sex 'Mockumentary' Idea Riles Wesleyan President
By ERIC RICH
MIDDLETOWN -- Brian Brown needed actors for his independent film, so he figured "Get paid to get laid" would be a catchy slogan to attract interest on campus.
It was and it did, perhaps a little too well.
Eleven students at Wesleyan University agreed to be cast -- even in scenes with explicit sexual content -- in the junior's so-called "mockumentary" about sex on campus.
"Wesporn," as the 21-year-old Brown envisions, would be a movie within a movie. While one crew would make a film he admits could be pornographic, another camera crew would record students commenting on the project and on sexuality at Wesleyan.
But his casting call -- on posters across campus -- drew an unexpected response.
It was university President Douglas J. Bennet on the line early last Thursday morning -- and he was not interested in a part. A meeting followed, one that Brown likened to something out of the Spanish Inquisition.
The would-be filmmaker, an American studies major, acceded to Bennet's request that he drop the project.
Yet on Wednesday, Brown said he would revive the film if a poll in the college newspaper reveals broad student support. After all, he says, he never really bought Bennet's argument that the film could increase sexual tensions on campus.
Instead, Brown believes, a film would reveal that Wesleyan students are more chaste than the school's reputation might suggest. "I think the people here are probably very undersexed," he said.
Bennet was out of town Wednesday. But in a prepared statement, a spokesman said Bennet had several worries, including a concern that even the posters represented an "unacceptable threat" to the safety of students.
Brown said he suspects Bennet's concern is more for the university's image.
"At some level," Brown said, "he may be right that 'Wesporn' isn't the best publicity for the school."
A spokesman said Bennet was concerned that the project "stereotyped Wesleyan students' behavior in a trivializing way" and would contribute to a climate of "unintended permissiveness."
Still, Brown remains committed to his underlying inspiration.
"I just think there's a lot of issues about sex and sexuality here at Wesleyan," Brown said. "I wanted to try to come up with a creative and humorous way of confronting them."
Although the storyline is a bit sketchy, Brown envisions two experts arriving at a celibate campus with the mission of "sexing it up." Brown describes the movies as a spoof, an ironic take on both porn movies and images of sex on campus.
Brown hasn't told his parents in Durham, N.C., about the project yet, but expects he will if the film moves ahead. "I don't really see it as an issue," he said. "At the most, they'll think I'm wasting my time."