Gilmour talk shut down
Controversy surrounding David Gilmour has emerged once again as a visit to Waterloo was abruptly cancelled.
The author, who has lately been a hot topic in the media, was scheduled to speak about his new book at the Waterloo Public Library on Monday night.
However the organizers of this event, Words Worth Books, and the Waterloo Public Library, pulled the plug on Friday, announcing that the “timing is not right for an event.”
Mandy Brouse issued a clarification statement to The Cord, explaining the last-minute decision.
“We organized that event months ago before all the media attention,” she wrote. “We were getting calls from media outlets, locally and from Toronto, who were eager to attend the event, not to meetDavid Gilmour the author but to confront David Gilmour the man.”
Gilmour first gained media attention last week, when the University of Toronto instructor revealed in a Hazlitt article that he was “not interested in teaching books by women.”
He continued on to state that he had only taken a position at the University of Toronto’s Victoria College so that he could teach the people he “truly, truly loved.”
“Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women,” he said in the article. “What I teach is guys. Serious, heterosexual guys.”
Words Worth Books felt that bringing the controversial writer to Waterloo would shift focus away from Gilmour’s novel and would defeat his purpose for the event.
“A media event was not the original intention for Monday night, but a way for us to connect David Gilmour to his readers,” Brouse explained. “It is our opinion that this would not have happened had we gone ahead with the event.”
Following Gilmour’s controversial remarks last week, a media firestorm broke out giving the author much negative publicity.
Students at the University of Toronto were especially involved in the upheaval, with some even organizing protests, rallies, and petitions.
“This thing went viral,” explained Rachel Bulatovich, a fourth-year English student at the University of Toronto and current student of Gilmour.
“I was on campus for those few days,” she said. “Everyone got mad and that snowballed into this crusade to get him fired.”
Bulatovich, who has known Gilmour since her first year in university, explained that students were very present on social media, hoping to call attention to his remarks.
“One of my friends was even trying to convince me to go to this protest, saying that she thought there would be an ‘intellectual discussion there,’” she said. “I didn’t think so because rallies and protests are used to bring attention to cause.”
“The difference here is that everybody is already paying attention and everyone already knows what’s going on.”
Bulatovich went on to explain that she did not agree with the “lynch-mob” approach that her peers had towards the issue.
“A protest isn’t providing a good stage for leveled, thoughtful debate, which is what I think the course of action should be,” she said. “I think once you get yourself in that situation there’s really nothing you can do except keep quiet until it blows over.”
Now that Gilmour’s event in Waterloo has been cancelled, questions surrounding censorship have arisen.
The Waterloo Record had reported that David Worsley, the co-owner of Words Worth, did not want to cancel the talk because “he was not in the business of censorship.”
However, Words Worth strongly stated that the decision came from Words Worth alone and was not affiliated with the Waterloo Public Library.
“We originally brought the event to Waterloo Public Library,” Brouse explained further in her statement. “It was for us to decide and it was difficult decision for us to make.”