Pasadena City College has decided not to invite Dustin (Lance) Black to serve as its commencement speaker after the college’s board learned of explicit photographs on the Internet of Mr. Black, an alumnus who won an Academy Award for the screenplay of the 2008 film Milk, according to the Pasadena City College Courier, the college’s student newspaper.
Anthony Fellow, the California college’s board chair, cited fears that having Mr. Black as the graduation speaker would draw unwanted attention to the college, which experienced a controversy last year over a troubled professor who resigned after admitting to having sex with his students.
“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,” Mr. Fellow said. “We’ll be on the radio and on television. We just don’t want to give PCC a bad name.”
The college’s student trustee said he had emailed Mr. Black an invitation, but administrators said that the trustee’s message did not constitute a final offer. College officials also said there had been a miscommunication about who was allowed to officially invite the commencement speaker.
In a letter to students on the newspaper’s website, Mr. Black acknowledged that “extremely personal photographs” of himself and an ex-boyfriend had been posted on Internet gossip sites. He accused the college’s administration of “punishing the victim.”