The selection process for Pasadena City College’s 2014 commencement speaker has been a disaster of epic proportions, but has now officially come to an end as Dustin Lance Black has accepted their re-invitation to deliver the speech.
Black was initially disinvited from giving the speech due to PCC President Mark Rocha’s skittishness over the years-old scandal involving the Oscar-winner’s leaked sex pics.
PCC officials were then accused of placing the blame over the whole situation on a student leader, and had to deal with Black’s replacement suddenly pulling out after he was revealed to be a certifiable nutjob with a history of offensive commentary about trans people among others.
So, yeah, things got quite a bit messy for a moment there. Luckily, Rocha and Black are being more West Wing than Melrose Place about the situation and putting the focus squarely back on the students of PCC.
After Rocha called Black personally to extend the invitation, Black provided a sound and mature statement:
“It’s time to move forward and put the focus where it should be—on the students. I look forward to the honor of returning to PCC to support the 2014 graduates of Pasadena City College.”
Not to be outdone, Rocha followed with some warm words for Black, thereby closing this drama-filled chapter of their relationship for good:
“All of us at PCC are so proud of Mr. Black and are delighted he is returning to his alma mater. Mr. Black’s career represents a rare blend of public leadership and creativity. Additionally, He has generously committed his attention and resources to fighting for LGBTQ equality, the arts, and—not least of all—education.”
While the drama-loving devil on our right shoulder was definitely hoping for just a bit more mess and maybe some hair-pulling, it’s great to see the two sides acting like mature adults and coming together for the students.
Well played, gents.