Porn at the University of Maryland? Not Anymore. | EW.com

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Porn at the University of Maryland? Not Anymore.

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Pirates_ii_stagnetti_s_revengeStudents at the University of Maryland were denied a planned screening this weekend of the XXX movie Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge. (It’s a takeoff on Disney’s Pirates of the Carribean series. Yes, Disney. No, nothing’s sacred. Move on.) Yesterday, the student union canceled after pressure from state lawmakers who threatened the school’s funding if the screening went forward. Said the state Senator, Andrew Harris, “Occasional viewing of porn is more dangerous than occasionally lighting up a cigarette.” 

When I first heard about the U. of Maryland circus, I have to admit, I rolled my eyes. On the one hand you have self-righteous lawmakers looking for any excuse to grandstand even if it means trampling on First Amendment rights. On the other, you have entitled college students doing something that looks suspiciously like teen-aged acting-out. (And really, it’s not even original acting-out. Back in 1999, Yale’s Porn ‘n’ Chicken” club planned to make a porn movie.)

After reading the ABC News coverage of the story, though, I realized there was much more to the screening than I’d originally thought. UCLA had already shown the film to 850 people in December and included a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers where they were grilled about, among other things, the exploitation of women. And Maryland had scheduled a Planned Parenthood rep to speak about safe sex at their screening.

Of course, the Pirates II filmmakers may be getting the last laugh. Part of the production company’s marketing campaign to offer the XXX movie free to college campuses, no doubt realizing that it would stir up all kinds of controversy and raise their product’s profile. What do you think PopWatchers? Should the movie have been canceled? Is pornography dangerous enough to justify the Maryland state legislature threatening to punish astate university for showing it? And did the state of Maryland just give lots of free publicity to a porn movie?

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