Four students arrested for protesting “American Sniper” movie

This made the news in The Eastern Echo here– “Four students arrested protesting American Sniper Friday night movie” and also at mLive here– “Protesters detained after disrupting ‘American Sniper’ showing at EMU.”  And it’s also a story that got picked up by Inside Higher Ed, too. It’s a bit of a confusing story to me, but here’s a quote from the mLive story that also paraphrases the Echo story:

About 40 students protested the film, according to a report by the university newspaper, The Eastern Echo.

The Echo reported that student protesters filed onto the stage and held up signs under the screen, before one student began speaking to the crowd.

“Do you want me to play a movie painting your people this way?” the student asked the audience, according to The Eastern Echo.

Audience members reportedly shouted back, “Tell us after.”

Larcom said the protesters received several warnings from police before the four were detained.

They were released shortly after with no charges, he said.

First off, I haven’t seen the movie. It’s not the kind of thing that appeals to me much for all kinds of different reasons and I probably would have agreed with the basic point of the protesters, and besides, I heard a lot of kind of mixed reviews when it came out. But second, I kind of agree with the audience members here: it seems to me it would have made a lot more sense to have some kind of discussion about the movie– maybe both before and after it was shown– rather than to simply try to stop it from being shown in the first place.

This all comes on the heels of events over at the University of Michigan, of course. There the movie was scheduled, then canceled, and then was going to show it along with a panel discussion, then savior football coach Jim Harbaugh tweeted his support for the movie, and then the U of M folks announced they had made a mistake originally in canceling the showing. And, to quote the mLive piece:

Ultimately, the movie was shown as previously scheduled on Friday, with the added option of a showing of the movie “Paddington,” to no major protest.

I wonder how many people saw Paddington?

2 thoughts on “Four students arrested for protesting “American Sniper” movie

  1. Wow, that tweet from Coach Harbaugh was really off-putting.

    I think the movie is in poor taste, but if people want to see it, whatever, that’s not my business. But for Coach Harbaugh to tweet support for the movie with his unnecessarily aggressive little “so be it” is incredibly dismissive of the valid criticisms the activists have and totally ignorant of the culture of the campus of UM. Go be a meathead war hawk coach at Bama, not here.


  2. The movie is quite terribly made and not very exciting. They used a fake baby doll and tried to play it off as real. Plus the real guy the movie portrayed has had some questionable activity surrounding him, but that’s neither here nor there.

    If you want to see a modern-era war movie that is exciting and gripping, go rent the Hurt Locker. American Sniper is not a great movie, and made most of its money on patriotic hype – it makes sense from a film analysis perspective why Birdman beat it out for best picture. (Birdman is amazing, btw)


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