‘Los Angeles Times’ Highlights Censorship at Art Institute of California

January 9, 2007

Monday’s edition of the Los Angeles Times features an article about a recent incident of student censorship at the Art Institute of California in San Francisco, where the administration confiscated copies of a student-produced magazine that ran a controversial article by a student.

“Homicide” by Simone Mitchell described a rape and killing spree by three African American males, but the end of the story reveals that the characters were figures in a video game played by three white suburbanites.

Mitchell, a video game art and design student who is African American, told the Times:

There are so many stereotypes in games, of African Americans as thugs, for example. Video gamers are exposed to this kind of violence and offensive language all the time and need to think about what they are doing.

FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff expressed his concern in the article as well:

Art is supposed to provoke and make people think, and as an art institute, especially in a city like San Francisco, they should seriously consider the commitment to their mission. If anywhere should encourage free speech, it should be an art institution.