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Archive for Monday, January 27, 2014

40 years ago: Officials question propriety of showing of erotic films at KU

January 27, 2014

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 27, 1974:

Kansas University and state authorities this week were questioning the propriety of showing erotic films in the Kansas Union. The planned Feb. 19 showing of "The Devil in Miss Jones," a film confiscated in Kansas City, Mo., for its pornographic nature, had been canceled by the Student Union Activities board of directors. Two state senators had objected to an SUA-sponsored erotic film festival shown on a recent Friday at the Kansas Union; the second day's viewings had been canceled by the SUA board. An SUA board member claimed that one senator, Chuck Wilson, D-Jetmore, had threatened to fight KU's proposed budget "to the last dollar" unless the festival and the Feb. 19 movie were canceled, but others disagreed. Wilson and Sen. Edward Rielly Jr., R-Leavenworth, had "expressed concern about the legality of showing the film and whether it would jeopardize the university's position," said KU Chancellor Archie Dykes. "There was no direct reference to the budget." Both senators agreed, saying they recalled making no direct threats. SUA board members wanted to avert a court battle that would probably result if the film were shown, said Steven Warren, KU senior and SUA board president. "This would have been a great opportunity for Vern Miller to test Kansas' pornography laws," Warren said. "By not canceling the film we would have put ourselves and the university in a tenuous position. We didn't feel it was worth it." Warren added that erotic films had been shown in the past with no trouble at all.

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