Tony Kushner Denied an Honorary CUNY Degree Because of Alleged Anti-Israel Views


Drama! Tony Kushner was all set to receive an honorary degree from City University of New York's John Jay College — until a Monday-night meeting, when a trustee successfully blocked the confirmation of the honor by ascribing to Kushner certain anti-Israel views. In response, Kushner said he was "dismayed by the vicious attack and wholesale distortion of my beliefs," explaining that while critical of certain historical policies, he supported Israel's right to exist. Kushner: "This has been an incredibly ugly experience, that a great public university would make a decision based on slanderous mischaracterizations without giving the person in question a chance to be heard.” Kushner did not add, "But, like, whatever — the night of the honorary-degree ceremony I probably would have been busy at home anyway polishing my Pulitzer." [NYT]