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Two Take Blame For Frug Parody

Eight Others Apologize for Involvement

By Philip P. Pan, Crimson Staff Writer

Two Harvard Law Review editors stepped forward yesterday not apologized to the Law School community for writing a controversial parody of the views of a murdered feminist scholar.

The third-year law students, Craig B. Coben and Ken Fenyo, said in a letter distributed yesterday that they never intended to hurt anyone and that they now realize the article was offensive.

The piece was a parody of an article written by the late Mary Joe Frug, a law professor at the New England School of Law who was murdered in Cambridge last year. It appeared in the Revue, a spoof edition of the Law Review, on the one-year anniversary of her death.

Since the parody was leaked to the public, the prestigious academic journal has received harsh criticism from both students and professors. Its editors, who are traditionally assured of successful careers, have held two meetings to discuss the matter.

"As the primary authors, we realize that it was very wrong to write the parody, and understand now why the whole idea of parodying Mary Joe Frug was highly inappropriate," wrote Coben and Fenyo.

Coben and Fenyo also said they personally apologized to Frug's husband, Professor of Law Gerald E. Frug.

In a separate letter yesterday, eight other law students said they "were involved to varying extents in the production" of the Revue and apologized for not preventing its publication.

According to sources close to the editors of the Revue, one or two of those eight students contributed significantly to the parody but chose not to sign Coben and Fenyo's letter.

The eight third-year law students who apologized for their involvement in the issue were Paul Clement, Andrew Fish, Mark Harris, Janis Kestenbaum, Sean Lev, Robert Niewyk, Edith Ramirez and former Law Review President David Ellen.

Ramirez and Kestenbaum released a third letter which said they were read the parody because they were involved in the publication of Frug's original article. They apologized for not protesting the decision to parody the Frug piece.

Ellen declined to comment last night on his involvement in the parody.

But according a private letter he wrote toLaw Review editors, Ellen was asked to readthe Revue by an editor who had "seriousconcerns for the potential offense and pain" itcould cause.

Ellen wrote that he was shown the issue on thecondition that he had no formal authority tochange it.

According to his letter, Ellen found the parodyoffensive but did not censor the piece.

"Unfortunately, what I did not do--and what Ishould have done--is violate the condition onwhich I was shown the Revue and demandedthe presses be stopped," he wrote.

A group of law students issued a press releaseyesterday calling on the administration to conductan investigation of the matter, saying thatunanswered questions remain about who edited andapproved the parody.

In addition, some students suggested that theLaw School need to examine the institutions whichallowed the Frug parody to go to print.

"The faculty and administration should bedigging not just to get at the people but to getat the culture that produced this," said AndreaBrenneke, a third-year law student.

Dean of the Law School Robert C. Clarkdistributed a statement condemning the parody asan affront to "all standards of decency" an saidhe is still considering "what further steps may beappropriate."

The Revue piece, titled "He-Manifesto ofPost-Mortem Legal Feminist" and signed by "MayDoe, Rigor-Mortis Professor of Law," was intendedas a parody of an article by Frug printedposthumously in the Law review in March.

Frug's article, "A Postmodern feminist LegalManifesto," discussed legal theories on violenceagainst women. Some members of the LawReview opposed its publication at the time,and many students say the recent parody wasretaliation.

Several faculty members feel that disciplinaryaction should be considered against the studentsinvolved with the parody and some students havesuggested that the Revue editors docommunity service work at a battered women'sshelter.

Current Law Review President Emily R.Schulman '85 issued an apology on behalf of theorganization last week and canceled publication ofthe traditional spoof issue next year.

She also said the Law Review wouldestablish a committee to evaluate the treatment ofwomen within the organization

But according a private letter he wrote toLaw Review editors, Ellen was asked to readthe Revue by an editor who had "seriousconcerns for the potential offense and pain" itcould cause.

Ellen wrote that he was shown the issue on thecondition that he had no formal authority tochange it.

According to his letter, Ellen found the parodyoffensive but did not censor the piece.

"Unfortunately, what I did not do--and what Ishould have done--is violate the condition onwhich I was shown the Revue and demandedthe presses be stopped," he wrote.

A group of law students issued a press releaseyesterday calling on the administration to conductan investigation of the matter, saying thatunanswered questions remain about who edited andapproved the parody.

In addition, some students suggested that theLaw School need to examine the institutions whichallowed the Frug parody to go to print.

"The faculty and administration should bedigging not just to get at the people but to getat the culture that produced this," said AndreaBrenneke, a third-year law student.

Dean of the Law School Robert C. Clarkdistributed a statement condemning the parody asan affront to "all standards of decency" an saidhe is still considering "what further steps may beappropriate."

The Revue piece, titled "He-Manifesto ofPost-Mortem Legal Feminist" and signed by "MayDoe, Rigor-Mortis Professor of Law," was intendedas a parody of an article by Frug printedposthumously in the Law review in March.

Frug's article, "A Postmodern feminist LegalManifesto," discussed legal theories on violenceagainst women. Some members of the LawReview opposed its publication at the time,and many students say the recent parody wasretaliation.

Several faculty members feel that disciplinaryaction should be considered against the studentsinvolved with the parody and some students havesuggested that the Revue editors docommunity service work at a battered women'sshelter.

Current Law Review President Emily R.Schulman '85 issued an apology on behalf of theorganization last week and canceled publication ofthe traditional spoof issue next year.

She also said the Law Review wouldestablish a committee to evaluate the treatment ofwomen within the organization

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