University says second year’s short story about rape can stay online
A joint statement with the author will be issued next week
Controversial author of the fictitious ‘Nights at the Disco’ short story Benjie Beer was called in front of a disciplinary hearing today which concluded that his fictional story could stay online.
The University of Bristol decided to punish Benjie and try to censor his fictional work due to its rape oriented content which they believed “brought the university into disrepute.”
The censorious nature of UOB’s approach gained widespread criticism throughout campus and in social media groups like Bristol Against Censorship.
Even university officials such as Head of Film and Television Alex Clayton took to social media to express their “deep concern” over a course of action “that could set a dangerous precedent and damage the reputation of the University in terms of its adherence to the principles of free speech and the ideals of artistic endeavour.”
In the hearing, the committee expressed to Benjie how his work had damaged the university’s reputation. University representatives also argued that the action they attempted to take was not censorship despite the fact that they clearly demanded Benjie remove the work from his blog.
The University claimed that the issue of censorship was not as important as the issue that Benjie had highlighted concerns of sexual assault within university in a very different way to how UOB handle sexual assault instances.
Although they even expressed concern over his employability, the committee expressed their desire to release a joint statement with Benjie next week due to amount of attention that the story has received in the national press.
The University also told Benjie that his story could remain online as long as he alters his story’s trigger warning to make it seem more obvious that it was a piece of fiction.