Harvard Group Edits Line on Yale Murder Out of Spoof Video

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On Harvard Time
    Harvard caused some outrage at Yale over a parody video.

    A comedy-news show at Harvard apologized for a Yale parody video that referenced the murder of Yale graduate student Annie Le.

    "On Harvard Time" released "Why Did I Choose Yale?" on Tuesday, ahead of this weekend's annual Yale-Harvard football game, and it caused outrage in New Haven.

    The video spoofs a Glee-like admissions video Yale's admissions posted in January.

    In the Harvard video, an On Harvard Time member poses as a potential Yale student, "What happened to that girl that got murdered and stuffed in a wall?" The tour guide quickly changes the subject. That line has since been removed and replaced with “What happened to the original line in this video?”

    The line referred to the slaying of Annie Le, a Yale graduate student, whose body was found behind a research lab wall in 2009.

    On Wednesday, the Yale Daily News posted an editorial saying the video creators "crossed a line" and were guilty of "gross insensitivity." Students also wrote into the school paper saying they were outraged by the low blow that made light of a tragedy.

    "On Harvard Time" responded with a statement to the New Haven Register: "Our intention was to comment on Yale's guarded treatment of their crime problems. The humor rested in the glossing over of a significant event, and not in the event itself."

    The video also shows crime happening as a student walks around the city and a police office using a stun gun on that student – a reference to a stun gun incident during a club raid in New Haven.

    “We are not so weak that we feel the need to use victims of violence, crime and poverty to take indirect jabs at our rivals. We expect more from ourselves than that. And we expect more from our Harvard peers,” Vi Nguyen, a senior, wrote to the Daily News.

    In a statement, On Harvard Time told its viewers the intent was to mock Yale's crime rate, not make light of a very serious -- and tragic -- incident. But the statement said the group also understands why people took offense and sincerely apologized.

    "The last thing we’d want to do is upset anyone personally connected to the incident," the statement read. "As such we have decided to remove the video and replace it with a version that does not include this reference which we are working to post as soon as possible.  We hope you continue to enjoy what we believe is an otherwise well-humored and good-natured parody."