USC Cancels Jon M. Chu and Billie Jean King as Featured Guests for Graduation


    “There remain serious doubts about whether U.S.C.’s decision to revoke my invitation to speak is made solely on the basis of safety,” she said.
    After the decision to cancel her speech, the administration has faced several of days of protests calling for Ms. Tabassum’s reinstatement as a speaker.
    The U.S.C. announcement on Friday followed inquiries by The New York Times as to whether Mr. Chu, an alumnus, might withdraw as the graduation speaker because of the controversy. By the end of the day, the university had removed his name and photo from its commencement website. And it announced that he and other speakers were “being released.”
    “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.”
    Mr. Chu and Ms. King could not be reached for comment.
    Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California said it was looking into the possibility of representing Ms. Tabassum in a lawsuit against the university, citing a California statute known as the Leonard Law, which applies First Amendment free speech protections to private and public colleges in the state.


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