The headline is "Oppose the right-wing, racialist attack on composer Bright Sheng at University of Michigan." The statement reads in part, "The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) at the University of Michigan denounces the racialist smear campaign against renowned composer, conductor and pianist Bright Sheng. The claim by a group of students and faculty that he committed a “racist act” by screening a film version of Othello with Laurence Olivier is as badly informed as it is false. All serious and democratic-minded students should refuse to be intimidated and come to Sheng’s defense." World Socialist Web Site.
The statement continued: Any suggestion that there is a hint of racism about Olivier’s performance is preposterous. The actor takes pains to bestow his character with the greatest possible dignity and humanity. The Michigan Daily
wrote that in a letter sent to the Daily
Sheng explained “that the original intent was to show how the opera composer Giuseppe Verdi had adapted Shakespeare’s play into an opera. Since cross-casting was frequent in opera, he did not think Laurence Olivier’s performance was ‘intended to be the same as the minstrel performances which did degrade African Americans.’” More on the IYSSE here
The FIRE's Robert Shibley wrote, "But at public universities, the application of these mores through official discipline or punishment is prohibited by the First Amendment."