Breaking: USC Suspends Bryan Singer’s Name From Department of Cinema and Media Studies
Dec 8, 2017 — Bryan Singer’s name is being removed from the Cinema and Media Studies department after a new sexual assault lawsuit was filed yesterday.
This is a long overdue victory for consent and respect in our university. We are grateful for the overwhelming support our movement has received and that USC has begun the process toward severing ties with Singer. However, we are disappointed on behalf of our community that Singer, a decades-long alleged predator, was heard by the administration, but that 4,000+ students, alumni, faculty, and allies were not.
According to a statement issued to students by the university today, “Bryan Singer has requested that the USC School of Cinematic Arts suspend the use of his name on the Division of Cinema & Media Studies until the allegations against him are resolved. The School means a great deal to Bryan, and while he intends to defend himself vigorously against these claims, he does not want the pending litigation to have any negative impact on his alma mater.” The lawsuit in question was filed yesterday by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, alleging that Singer raped him at a yacht party in 2003 when Sanchez-Guzman was seventeen and threatened to destroy Sanchez-Guzman’s career if he spoke out. USC has stated that they will continue to evaluate the situation as the lawsuit unfolds, but that Singer’s name has been removed for the time being.
Although this is important progress, we must note that this is a suspension, not a removal, and that we as a university have a long way to go. As students, we are concerned that the statement makes no mention of the victim or victims of Singer's alleged crimes. We are upset the school remains hesitant to stand with those brave enough to speak up and those so affected that they cannot. We want to make it clear that the students of the USC School of Cinematic Arts stand together in support of survivors of sexual harassment and assault.
Suspending Singer’s name doesn’t change the underlying issue: that powerful men in Hollywood continue to abuse their power and influence to take advantage of young people. We must continue to hold abusers, and our institutions, accountable for their actions. We will not let our voices as a student community go unheard. We will not rest until this suspension is made permanent, and until we are able to separate ourselves as a student body from the culture of industry abuse that Singer represents.
We encourage you to share your thoughts on the matter and help make this temporary change permanent by tweeting @USC and @USCCinema regarding USC’s suspension of the name, as well as e-mailing the university. Although the catalyst for the administration’s action was Singer’s request, we know that it couldn’t have happened without all of you – students, alumni, and the larger community – speaking out over the past month and sharing your stories.
You can read more about the name suspension here: http://variety.com/2017/film/news/bryan-singer-usc-name-removed-1202634284/
You can read more about the lawsuit here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/movies/bryan-singer-sexual-assault.html
Fight on (and good luck on finals),
Emily Halaka, Animation and Digital Arts ‘18
Adrian Vega-Albela Osorio, Film and Television Production ‘18
Charlie Furman, Cinema and Media Studies ‘19
University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts