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University of Utah releases statement on controversial picture tweeted to promote David Cross comedy event

Posted at 9:02 AM, Aug 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-19 11:03:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Comedian David Cross, known best for his role as Tobias in the sitcom Arrested Development, offended some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after posting a controversial promotional picture.

Cross posted a flyer on his Twitter page, which was photoshopped to make the comedian appear to be wearing sacred garments used by members of the LDS Church.

On Sunday, the University of Utah released a statement from President Ruth V. Watkins regarding the tweet.

“The University of Utah condemns bigotry and religious intolerance in any form. The offensive use of sacred religious imagery in a tweet by David Cross promoting his performance at Kingsbury Hall was in opposition to the university’s values of respect and inclusivity.

The use of the imagery was deeply offensive. At the same time, the first amendment protects such speech and the university cannot and will not censor content of those coming to campus. We acknowledge the free speech rights of individuals and entities who rent university facilities–even those with whom we disagree. By doing so we protect the free speech rights of all.”

The University also stressed that the performance in questions is being produced through an outside promoter renting the public venue and is not affiliated with the University of Utah. The university rents many of its facilities to outside groups.

Many Twitter users spoke up in opposition of Cross, some calling for the University of Utah to cancel the comedian’s Salt Lake City show, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

Read more in the Salt Lake Tribune here.

To view the event on The University of Utah’s website, click here.