University of Missouri administrators decided to delete an entire Facebook page after students' complaints about anti-gay comments. The Facebook page alerted students to this week's visiting performance by E. Patrick Johnson, the popular Black gay academic, author and performance artist. Johnson is the chair of the department of performance studies at Northwestern University.
The thread included at least one negative comment by an anti-gay Republican state legislator, reports The Missourian.
The presentations were titled "Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales" and "In Search of Countess Vivian: Queerness and the Making of Southern History." The events were presented in conjunction with MU's Pride Month and co-sponsored in part by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Resource Center, among other campus groups and organizations.
"Some of the comments were offensive to Mizzou students and fans. Comments that violated our posting policy — those that contained profanity or personal attacks, for example — were removed swiftly. Those that did not, remained on the Facebook page for more than 24 hours," the message stated.
One such comment that sparked a heated response was from Missouri state Rep. Kathie Conway, R-St. Charles. "Really?? This is educational?," Conway wrote. "Just what is the percentage of the population that this could possibly apply? .0001%?" Conway could not be reached for comment.
Mizzou administrators say "many of the comments" violated the university's posting policy. Administrators also add the page was thread was ultimately deleted because the event was over.
"Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales" is a critically-acclaimed and commercially successful stage adaptation of the Johnson's oral history Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South. The one-man show has been staged across the country.