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University of Michigan Says ‘American Sniper’ Will Be Shown Despite Controversy

There are some films that just seem to cause so much controversy that movie theaters are forced to choose whether they will show it or not. American Sniper is the most recent film that has caused quite a stir. It has many people either offended by the content or in full support of it. Just recently, the University of Michigan made a decision to not show this movie after many protesters were up in arms about it. However, after much consideration, the school has decided to reverse their earlier decision and the showing will go on as scheduled.

USA Today reported that the reversal was announced on Wednesday and that the movie would still be shown at a social event called UMix. Originally, American Sniper was going to be replaced with the more kid-friendly movie, Paddington, but now both will be shown in an effort to provide options for students.

The ruckus is over the fact that the film is viewed by some as anti-Muslim. The story is about former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle as it depicts his life in the war as the deadliest sniper on record. Some of the students and staff at the University of Michigan are not the only ones who have protested the film. It has sparked this debate everywhere between those who believe in freedom of expression and others who say that it is morally wrong. Even new U of M football coach, Jim Harbaugh, gave his support in the showing of the movie.

Protesters collected over 200 signatures saying that the film was too uncomfortable for them. That seemed to work as it did indeed get moved to a different location. That is until backlash from the other side happened and they started their own petition to get the Iraqi war movie back to its original location.

The movie American Sniper is not about a racist mass murderer or a criminal […] If the University prevents a movie like this from being shown, it promotes intolerance and stifles dialogue and debate on the subject and goes directly against the atmosphere UMix purports to provide. As adults at a public university, we should have the option to view this movie if we so choose and have the opportunity to engage on the topics it presents to come to our own conclusions on the subjects.

The Michigan Daily issued a statement from Rachel Jankowski who started the petition to get the university to reverse their decision to scrap the movie from the UMix location.

This is a widely acclaimed, non-controversial movie celebrating an American hero, and it should not be stifled because of an exaggerated worry that it may offend someone […] To see hundreds of students, faculty, and even Coach Harbaugh, rally behind this movie, shows the broad consensus of support that American Sniper enjoys across the entire University of Michigan community.

Coach Jim Harbaugh was happy that the decision was reversed and the movie would still be shown. He went back to his Twitter to share his feelings.

Chris Kyle was killed by Eddie Ray Routh at a shooting range in 2013. In a report by Immortal News, Routh was convicted to life in prison instead of the death penalty.

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