Prof. Adler said nervous participants, lack of consent form advice led to decision
Sadly, the realization that the skit was in awful taste and bowed to stereotypes seemingly did not play a role
University of Colorado sociology professor Patti Adler pulled the plug on the controversial prostitution skit in her “Deviance and U.S. Society” course this semester, citing difficulty with consent forms and worries among participants after the demonstration received national attention in recent months.
Adler was the subject of controversy starting in December after she said she was investigated by CU’s Office of Discrimination and Harassment for one of her lectures on prostitution, which was taught with a skit involving undergraduate teaching assistants.
A tenured professor, Adler said she was told she could retire immediately or return to campus for the spring semester but not teach her popular course on deviance.
Ultimately, the university allowed Adler to return and teach the course.
After weeks of grappling with nervous undergraduate teaching assistants — who perform the roles of various types of prostitutes and pimps — and finding it difficult to obtain or create consent forms for the participants and the student audience, Adler decided to cancel the skit.
“I think the notoriety that the university brought to it made people just feel too sensitive to be able to participate,” Adler told the Camera on Monday. “Nobody ever heard of it before. It was through the students, for the students, by the students. For a variety of reasons, participants got too nervous and uncomfortable to do it.
“We were all having nightmares, myself included, literally.”