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Two Arrested for Showing 'Deep Throat'

Controversy Over 'Deep Throat' Began Brewing Late Last Week

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The controversy over Deep Throat that led to last night's arrests has been brewing for more than a week.

Quincy House Film Society officials decided in the middle of last week to show the film, and went to Charles Dunn, master of Quincy House, with the idea; film society members say they received unequivocal approval, but Dunn says he did not know what pornographic movie the society intended to screen, nor that it would be shown in the House dining hall.

News of the showing first came out last Thursday. As some women on campus began to protest the screening, Dunn and Elizabeth Swain, Allston Burr senior tutor of Quincy House, defended the society's right to show the movie. "I don't believe in censorship." Swain said.

Last Friday morning, four Quincy House women complained to Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, and to Dunn and Swain about the showing.

Offensive

A hastily convened meeting of film society officials, Dunn, Swain, and the four women, decided at about 4 p.m. not to show the movie that weekend--originally scheduled for 8 and 10 p.m. on May 9, a week ago Friday--because it was offensive to community standards.

At 4:55 p.m. Friday, the district attorney, who said the same angry students that met with the master called him with news of the showing, phoned Epps to say the movie was obscene and that he had asked the city police to be on hand for the showing.

Dunn and Swain signed a three-sentence letter explaining that the movie was offensive to "many in the House" and illegal to show. The letter cancelling the screening was posted at all entrances to the House, but sizeable crowds arrived at each of the slated show times, only to be turned away by film society members.

The students met with Dunn, Swain and Epps again Saturday morning, and agreed that Epps would investigate legal issues surrounding the showing and prepare a report by midweek.

Sunday night, the Quincy House Committee voted 35-14 to permit the showing, but also decided to poll House residents on whether the film should be shown.

That poll, done Tuesday and Wednesday nights, showed that close to three-quarters of House residents were in favor of the showing, but also found that women in the House opposed the screening 49 to 48 per cent.

Epps meanwhile consulted with city county and state legal authorities, and learned that the office of Middlesex County district attorney John Droney would seek an injunction against the showing should it be offered.

Concluding that there was a "substantial risk" to students showing the film, Epps said the College would "not be interested" in defending the students should they be arrested.

Dunn said after reading Epps's letter he had decided to leave it up to students.

But the film society officers, who had consulted with outside legal authorities, voted Thursday night to show the film. "We didn't see any reasons not to," Carl Stork '81, film society co-president, said following the meeting.

Feminists against the screening also met Thursday night to plan organized opposition to the film, which they termed degrading and linked with possible violence against women.

They also decided, however, not to seek to have the film shut down.

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