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Free-speech group urges college to reverse play cancellation

FILE - In this April 8, 1963, file photo, comedian Lenny Bruce, refused entry to Britain earlier in the day "in the public interest," makes a V-sign as he leaves the U.S. customs office after returning to New York's Idlewild Airport. Brandeis University said Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, it has postponed but not canceled a stage play about the late comedian Lenny Bruce after some students and alumni alleged the play contains racist language and themes. (AP Photo/John Lindsay, File)
November 14, 2017 - 10:01 AM

BOSTON - Free-speech advocates are urging Brandeis University to reconsider its cancellation of stage play about the late comedian Lenny Bruce.

The Boston-area school says it will no longer stage a premiere of the play "Buyer Beware" after some students and alumni alleged that the play contains racist language and themes.

But the non-profit group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says the decision should be reversed and wants an explanation from the school.

An open letter from the Philadelphia-based group says Brandeis should defend the free-speech principles that Bruce fought for. It was also signed by Bruce's daughter, Kitty.

Bruce was known for his profanity-laced routines that sparked several arrests for obscenity in the 1960s. An archive of his work is housed at Brandeis.

A university spokeswoman did not immediately comment.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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