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Apparently, the National Coalition Against Censorship is really concerned about censorship. So concerned, apparently, that some folks agreed to sponsor a quartet of plays at the Greenwich Village’s Sheen Center for Thought and Culture as a benefit event for the group. They asked Neil LaBute to contribute a short play… and subsequently cancelled the entire event.
LaBute’s career as a playwright and filmmaker has attracted controversy since his first film, In the Company of Men, which was both about misogyny and accused of being misogynist. So it should have come as no surprise that his contribution here would be, um… different. But apparently the sponsors of the event were surprised when LaBute titled his work “Mohammad Gets A Boner.” That was too much for the New York Times, which would not print the title in its reporting, though it hasn’t had a problem with The Vagina Monologues for many, many years, the sensitive dears.
Gloria Kadigan, the founder of Planet Connections where the event would held, knew the play would be “a discussion of whether or not it’s all right to poke fun at religion or religious figures” but didn’t know the title of the play or its specific contents. So when she found out that the play would actually poke fun at Islam, it was all far too much.
So, what better way to show the dangers of censorship, than through censorship. It’s like… you know… meta. And meta is always cool in the art world. But meta-Muslim-mocking is never cool. Right?
Anyone recall talk about censoring this play?Published in