HomeAsian AmericansUSC cancels Jon M. Chu’s speech after valedictorian controversy

USC cancels Jon M. Chu’s speech after valedictorian controversy

The University of Southern California (USC) announced it will be canceling the speech by filmmaker Jon M. Chu as a part of its “readjusting” of guests and honorees at the May graduation ceremony. 

This announcement follows “the highly publicized circumstances surrounding our main-stage commencement program,” which is in reference to USC canceling a speech by Muslim Valedictorian Asna Tabassum over claimed safety concerns. 

The decision to cancel Tabassum’s speech comes after she shared a pro-Palestinian link on social media, which sparked concern in campus Jewish groups, Variety reported.

“Given the highly publicized circumstances surrounding our main-stage commencement program, university leadership has decided it is best to release our outside speakers and honorees from attending this year’s ceremony,” reads the statement from USC released Friday, Variety reported. “It is important that our full attention be on our remarkable graduates. We will be celebrating their accomplishments in a way that reflects the unity we love so much about our Trojan Family.”

Chu, who directed films like Wicked and Crazy Rich Asians and who graduated from USC in 2003, was slated to give his keynote address at the graduation, The Guardian reported. 

His speech was among several others including tennis star Billie Jean King, National Endowment for the Arts chair Maria Rosario Jackson and National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt, according to The New Arab.

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