NewsSeptember 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Controversy Erupts Over Penn Prof’s Tweet

When they’re not debating the merits of Twitter, some professors are actually, well, using the site. On Wednesday, Penn professor of Religious Studies, Anthea Butler, tweeted her response to the controversial independent film, Innocence of Muslims (yes, we just linked to Wikipedia—get over it). Butler’s tweets suggest a link between the film and the recent attacks on US embassies as well as asserts that filmmaker “Sam Bacile” should be jailed:

Good Morning. How soon is Sam Bacile going to be in jail folks? I need him to go now.When Americans die because you are stupid… And people do to jail for speech. First Amendment doesn’t cover EVERYTHING a PERSON says.

Butler’s tweets received an onslaught of negative attention in the media over the past few days, prompting Butler herself to publish a defense yesterday in USA Today. Still, her interpretation of the First Amendment remains highly contested.

9 People have left comments on this post


By Tired on September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I wasn’t aware UTB was a political blog. I guess I’ll be awaiting the next blog post when controversy is erupted over a Penn professors’ policy on Israel.

By Penn Parent on September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

If she has any self-respect or love for the institution she should resign.

By wait, wat? on September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

^^^ BAHAHAHA like this is the first time a Penn professor has said something others found offensive.

By bald dude on September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

dat tweet was dumb yo

By herman kaufman on September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I will leave a comment. The disgrace of Butler cannot be overstated; I am embarrassed to say that I am a Penn alumnus. The first amendment applies only when you agree with the content of the expression. If anybody believes that Butler is an isolated atrocity at Penn or other similar totalitarian universities, I have ba bridge in Brooklyn for sale.The only difference beteen mobsters and universities is that mobsters at least tell the truth. Ask this question: If a movie dedicated to anti-semitism came out, what would Butler say? What about Obama? You have answered your own question. the fake, phony, fraud world of universities is appalling; yet, you have go to give them credit: They know how to spot he suckers, who pay $50,000.00+ in tuition to be taught by Butler and that ilk. Maybe Penn ought to raise the annual tuition to $100,000.00 to attract “talented” professors. It is obvious that Butler bought her professorship in a pawn shop.

By schmen drick on September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

is prof. butler saying the responce to the film by muslims around the world is correct? and that the american and israeli governments should be held responsible for the production of this film? if not what is she saying.

By siggi on September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Many people who have spent all of their careers as professors have difficulty in differentiating the appropriate and the desirable in a classroom from the appropriate and the desirable on Twitter. They need much wisdom in order to fill such a gap. Whilst they cannot fill that gap, sometimes personally they pay a price for their ignorance. It is sad that most of them will not learn from this experience.

While these numerous professors populating the halls of “the Academy” have much knowledge and wisdom to impart to their students in their fields of formal inquiry, precious little of that knowledge and that wisdom trickle down to the half-assed bureaucrats who work in the Student Life Office(s). At the same time, where there is ignorance, that ignorance is shared widely among with people of all roles within the perimeter(s) of campus(es). So the Student Life people are left ignorant multiple times over.

The punishment for these professors should be to give them second jobs in the Student Life Office(s). The punishment for universities’ legal counsels should be to make them talk to these professors instead of the normal half-assed bureaucrats who usually work in Student Life Office(s). The reward for those bureaucrats who usually work in Student Life Office(s) should be to make them students and have them attend classes of those professors, and not to continue to be half-assed (or fully-assed) any more: something they would never have qualified for personally by themselves.

By Ali K on September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I have had Butler as a teacher and she is literally inept. I am so happy that her lack of logic and verbose, nonsensical explanations for pretty much everything have been exposed on a national level. I was ashamed to be taught by this “tenured” professor and felt cheated by her conceit and lack of actual knowledge. She threw around her “tenured” position as a justification for all of her shortcomings. I was in a Women and Religion class with her and she would ALWAYS make these irrelevant, illogical connections (ala her tweet). Professors like THIS – not youtube videos – make learning religion such a difficult experience. How can we seek out learning about other cultures when our professors are so obviously STUPID. WHAT a joke

By Benjamin Franklin on September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

“HE WHO GIVES UP FREEDOM FOR SAFETY DESERVES NEITHER”
-Benjamin Franklin

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