Oscar award winning alumnus Dustin Lance Black accepted the Board of Trustee’s latest invitation and will speak at the 2014 commencement after a weeks-long fiasco surrounding the school’s decision to disinvite him, according to his assistant Neville Kiser.Kiser texted the Courier Black’s response Saturday afternoon.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” Black said in the text message. “It will be my honor to deliver the commencement address for PCC’s graduating class of 2014.”
In a press release on Saturday, Superintendent/President Mark Rocha said that he spoke with Black personally over the phone Saturday morning to extend the invitation and to sincerely apologize for the way the college had handled this matter to date.
“All of us at PCC are so proud of Mr. Black and are delighted he is returning to his alma mater,” Rocha said in the release. “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.”
The Board held a special meeting on Wednesday where they voted to apologize to Black and re-invite him after rescinding what Black thought was an invitation because board members and administrators feared that sexually explicit photos of Black on the internet would tarnish the school’s reputation.
“He has distinguished himself as a film producer and a champion of equal rights and protections for all regardless of sexual orientation,” the apology states. “The Board of Trustees and college administration deeply respect Mr. Black, his work and his causes. The Board also sincerely apologizes to Mr. Black for any actions that may have caused hurt.”