Award-winning playwright David Mamet is drawing outrage with his comment that teachers, especially male ones, are inclined to pedophilia.
Mamet, a former liberal who has said he converted to conservatism several years ago, made the remark Sunday on the Fox News Channel show Life, Liberty & Levin. The playwright was promoting his new book, Recessional: The Death of Free Speech and the Cost of a Free Lunch. Host Mark Levin read a passage from the book saying, “Now we have kindergarteners being trained in a bizarre catechism of sexual identity politics.” Then Levin brought up Florida’s recently enacted “don’t say gay” law, which prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in the early grades and restricts it for older students.
Mamet responded, “What we have is kids not only being indoctrinated but groomed, in a very real sense, by people who are, whether they know it or not, sexual predators. Are they abusing the kids physically? No, I don’t think so. But they are abusing them mentally and using sex to do so. This has always been the problem with education. Teachers are inclined, particularly men because men are predators, to pedophilia.” He said this is why parents need to take back control of their children’s education.
The playwright, whose mother was a teacher, did not offer any documentation to back up his assertion, and Levin did not challenge him. Experts on sexual abuse of children have said that children are in far more danger of being abused by family members and friends than by teachers. But that hasn’t stopped some people from accusing teachers of “grooming” children as potential victims, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, who called the “don’t say gay” legislation an “anti-grooming” measure.
Now Mamet is getting roundly roasted.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, issued a statement calling Mamet’s remark “a repulsive demonization of the very people who have been the lifeline to our kids,” NBC News reports.
“This demonization of teachers is dangerous for our educators and for their students, and it must stop,” she added. “In the meantime, teachers will keep doing their jobs to create opportunity and joy for every child in this country, and that overcomes anger, fear and gross misinformation every time.”
Many Twitter users are taking him to task as well, with some saying Mamet’s comments are clearly homophobic.
Mamet’s plays and screenplays happen to be full of sexual content and profanity. A revival of his play American Buffalo has just opened on Broadway.