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Arts and Entertainment

Pasadena City College Worried Dustin Lance Black Would Give The College A 'Bad Name'

Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black at 'An Evening Under The Stars' benefiting The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for The LA Gay & Lesbian Center)
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Oscar-winning screenwriter and alumnus Dustin Lance Black was slated to speak at Pasadena City College's commencement this spring. That is until the college found out that long ago in 2010 someone had leaked nude photos that showed him—gasp!—having unprotected sex with his boyfriend.

Board President Anthony Fellow told the PCC Courier, "With the porno professor and the sex scandals we’ve had on campus this last year, it just didn’t seem like the right time for Mr. Black to be the speaker. We'll be on the radio and on television. We just don’t want to give PCC a bad name."

It's true that PCC has had some scandals this year. Hugo Schwyzer—the guy who invited James Deen to campus—admitted to sleeping with students, and journalism professor Warren Swil admitted to showing nude photos of himself to a student. But Black's nudes leaked in 2010 don't seem problematic at all—unless you're a homophone squicked out by the thought of gay sex. The only scandalous part of the leak is that they were done without his consent.

The "Milk" screenwriter fired back at his alma mater for "punishing the victim" in an open letter published in Out Magazine:

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For too long now I’ve sat silent on this issue. That ends here and now and with this sentence: I did nothing wrong and I refuse to be shamed for this any longer. In 2009 a group of people surreptitiously lifted images from my ex’s computer and shopped them around to gossip sites in a money making scheme. These were old images from a far simpler time in my life, a time before digital camera phones and Internet scandals. They were photos of me with a man I cared for, a man who shared my Mormon background, and who was also struggling with who he was versus where he came from. And yes, we were doing what gay men do when they love and trust each other, we were having sex. I have never lied about my sexuality. If you invade my privacy, this is what you will find. I have sex. It brings me joy, fosters intimacy and helps love grow. I hope anyone reading this can say the same for themselves and for their parents.

There seems to be some dispute over whether Black's invite to speak had been finalized, but either way the college is facing blowback: Black said he's considering legal action and now the college is being called homophobic. So much for avoiding a "bad name."
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