Yee Cites His Controversial Views On The Age Of Consent For Sex As Reason For Cancellation
Singapore’s infamous blogger/YouTuber/Lee Kuan Yew critic Amos Yee was originally scheduled to give a public talk at Harvard — yes that Harvard — on Monday (13 Nov) but it was cancelled just days before, over the weekend.
Needless to say, he wasn’t too happy about it.
He’s even made a video on YouTube expressing his disappointment and explaining why — but we here at MustShareNews have watched it so you don’t have to.
So read on to find out exactly what happened.
Invited to talk at Harvard
On Thursday (9 Nov), Yee posted a video stating that he was invited by the Harvard College Open Campus Initiative (HCOCI) to give a talk on campus.
According to Yee’s video on the invitation, “some people at Harvard” were “so impressed by his work of bashing the Singapore government and humping the Quran and [subsequently]getting arrested for it” — they even booked a hotel room and plane ticket just for him.
The event, which was named “Jailed For Dissent: An Open Discussion With Amos Yee”, was originally scheduled at 6pm EST on Monday (13 Nov).
The description of it – according to the event page – was as follows:
We are excited to announce that HCOCI will be hosting Amos Yee this coming Monday at 6 PM in Science Centre Hall E.
Yee first came to international attention in 2015 when he was sentenced to jail in Singapore after releasing videos that were critical of the country’s late prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. Only 19 years old, he self-identifies as an anarcho-communist.
In September of this year, Yee was granted political asylum in the United States. We look forward to a brief discussion of Yee’s background and story, followed by an open conversation with students.
Yee had planned for the event to be more an engagement session, with 80-90% of it being Q&A instead him simply giving a speech for 90 minutes.
He even challenged “haters” to try and cancel the event, citing the HCOCI’s unwavering stand on free speech:
If any hater or brainwashed Singaporean wants to try to cancel the event by spamming angry messages and comments, good luck. Because the Harvard College Open Campus Initiative seems pretty pro-free speech.
Heh, funny he mentioned that actually..
His talk is cancelled just days later
Well that didn’t take long, did it?
Other than the following tweet, no official reason was given for the cancellation of Yee’s talk.
Our upcoming event with Amos Yee has been cancelled. Our apologies to those who were planning to attend.
— HCOCI (@harvardfree) November 12, 2017
The original events page on Facebook had also been removed.
So what happened? Didn’t Harvard already book a hotel and spend $600 on air tickets for the former child actor?
Too controversial for Harvard?
However, on Yee’s video, he speculated that the reason his talk got cancelled was due to one of his controversial view points.
In that he feels the law for age of consent for sex should be removed — whereby if a person under 18 consents to making love with an adult, the latter should be allowed to do it without any consequences.
Whether or not you agree with him is entirely up to you — but also not the point of this article.
According to Yee, however, many misunderstand it as him promoting rape and abuse on children instead. This led to him questioning if the cancellation was a result of Harvard thinking he was a violent person.
Which – in his own words – was “absolute bullsh*t” because of 2 reasons:
- He doesn’t advocate violence on anyone
- Goes against Harvard’s spirit of free speech
Once again, he say one. Not us.
He also revealed that he was banned from MythCon, an annual Mythopoeic Conference of the Mythopoeic Society just last month after initially receiving an invitation for the exact same reason.
So who are the HCOCI anyway?
Turns out, Yee’s event wasn’t even an official Harvard talk and the HCOCI aren’t officials from Harvard themselves.
Their Facebook page reveals that they’re merely an unofficial student-run organisation which advocates free and open expression.
Perhaps Harvard simply caught wind off Yee’s interesting history with Singapore and decided not to go through with having him as a speaker on campus.
Was cancelling his talk the right thing to do?
We believe in free speech too, so you decide.
Featured image from YouTube.