Controversial Movie Screening Shut Down Due to Protesters


Madeline Wilson

Protestors block the screening of “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold”.

Ryan Hayes, Staff Writer

Central Connecticut State University’s Turning Point members shut down their movie showing in the Student Center on Thursday less than halfway through because of disruptions caused by protestors who called the movie racist and hateful.  

A group of around 30 protesters marched through the center to protest the screening of “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM.” The documentary by Candace Owens intends to expose corruption in the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Other students then caused a series of planned disturbances throughout the movie, ending with an outburst from a student who was removed from the event by Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Craig Wright. 

“You’re heard, and you are respected,” Wright said to the students who marched onstage 15 minutes into the movie.  

“I implore you… any issue, any code of conduct, or any other action including disorderly conduct, that we please disperse. You may stand back. Let me finish.” 

Protestors interrupted him to continue chanting, before exiting to the courtyard. After a series of other disruptions, the movie was shut off by university officials and turning point members around 45 minutes after the showing began. 

“The suppression of speech is a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.” Associate VP of Communications and Media Jodi Latina said in a statement from the university. “The documentary, no matter how objectionable, is speech.” 

The university said the film does not reflect their opinions, but that the suppression of speech will not be tolerated. It also said authorities are investigating reports that some protesters were not CCSU students.  

President of CCSU Turning Point Marcelina Halas said it was within her club’s right to show the film, and said she supports the protesters’ right to protest peacefully. She also said it was not okay for them to disrupt the movie from being shown. 

“We thought it was very relevant to show this film that highlights the BLM movement from perhaps a perspective that’s not prominent in the media,” Halas said. 

“This issue is one that’s emotionally charged, and so, we figured that going forward it would be much more productive to try and perhaps have an open dialogue on this issue.” 

Malia Hunt, one of the organizers of the protest, said it was not enough for the university to tell students to simply look the other way if they object.  

“This is an exact example of hate speech, ” Hunt said.  “For this film to be shown, it’s just exceptionally triggering and hurtful for black students particularly, it makes the campus itself feel unsafe and that should never be an issue.”  

She said the university should not have allowed it, but that Turning Point ending the video early felt like a victory for her group.  

“When they finally shut it down around 8 o’clock it did feel like victory,” Hunt said. “We did feel successful because that’s what we came there to do.” 

After Dr. Wright asked the protesters to leave, most of them moved outside to continue protesting. Some protesters were banging on the windows of the student center, and the noise could be heard from inside.
Some protesters stayed in the room and created small disruptions using noise makers prompting CCSU police to escort them from the area.  

“The Greatest Lie Ever Sold” is a documentary by Candace Owens that can be accessed with a membership to DailyWire+. The description of the film says,  

“In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, the media concocted a narrative that justified a summer of worldwide riots and helped contribute to the rise of Black Lives Matter who used the chaos to raise 90 million dollars.”  

Those who disapprove of the film say it should be considered hate speech and that the film is racist. 

Though they did not organize the protest directly, CCSU’s Black Student Union posted a statement on Instagram in support of the protesters. 

“We believe this showed their [Turning Point’s] lack of understanding of the issues that truly plague black Americans, specifically when it comes to police,” BSU said. “As an organization, we recognized the intent of the movie showing and encouraged our members to practice self-preservation in the face of such an unwelcoming environment however they saw fit.