Statement regarding the recent invitation to distinguished film-maker and St Peter’s alumnus, Ken Loach, to speak at an online event on 8 February
Mr Loach was invited jointly by St Peter's College and The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) to discuss two of his films, in conversation with the Master of the College. The event was part of a broader university Humanities Cultural Programme, which fosters debate between artists and academics about an artist’s work.
Shortly before the event, College was made aware of some of the intense controversy that surrounds Mr Loach. College and TORCH did not cancel the event and have not apologised for not cancelling the event. The invitation had been issued and it was not rescinded.
The events of this week have caused significant hurt to many within the College, University and beyond, and specifically to members of the Jewish community. The Master of the College has apologised to our students for the pain that has been generated.
The issues that have been brought into the spotlight in College this week are urgent and important. College looks forward to working with our student body to create a respectful and thoughtful space for these issues to be properly aired, discussed and acted upon.
College recognises the appalling damage that antisemitism has done historically, and is still doing, and the imperative to discuss these things with seriousness and sensitivity.
The College will be reviewing its processes for speaker events.