Student porn 'mockumentary' is halted

March 17, 2000

BOSTON

A student film-maker who planned to make a pornographic "mockumentary" about sex on campus ran into trouble over a "get paid to get laid" message advertised around the campus of Wesleyan University.

Brian Brown lined up 11 young men and women for his film, tentatively titled Wesporn. But someone else responded to the casting call - university president Douglas Bennet.

Citing concerns that the project was inappropriate because of recent sexual harassment cases on the campus, Dr Bennet has persuaded Mr Brown to postpone the project.

Mr Brown still hopes to make his film, but will take a poll of students to see whether there is support for it. He said he suspects the president is more concerned about the school's reputation.

In fact, he said, his film would have called attention to the very "tensions and misconceptions between the genders" that the university's administration says it is trying to alleviate.

University spokesman Bill Holder disagreed. He said the proposed film "represented an unacceptable threat to the safety of the Wesleyan campus, and to the student himself" and that Dr Bennet felt "the project stereotyped Wesleyan students' sexual behaviour in a trivialising way".

Wesleyan, a 169-year-old private university, was the subject of unwanted publicity last year when a professor taught a course about sexual images with a final project based on student-produced pornography.

Meanwhile, a 2,700-student university in suburban Philadelphia, known for nearly 150 years as Beaver College, is considering changing its misleading name.

Not only has Beaver had to tolerate smirks and jokes; it has now run into the problem of being confused with pornographic websites, and worries that, while some people are apparently turned on by its name, potential students and their parents may be turned off.

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