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Playwright David Mamet Ripped For Claiming That 'Teachers Are Inclined To Pedophilia' On Fox News

Playwright David Mamet Ripped For Claiming That 'Teachers Are Inclined To Pedophilia' On Fox News
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

David Mamet, the playwright best known for such hits as Oleanna, American Buffalo, and Glengarry Glenn Ross, sparked outrage after he claimed "teachers are inclined to pedophilia" during a Fox News interview.

Mamet advocated for "community control" of schools, comments that come amid a campaign by Republicans to energize conservative voters—particularly in school board elections—that targets teachers and the material they teach.

Mamet suggested such control is crucial to protecting children from "being indoctrinated" and stoked fears teachers could sexually abuse students in addition to teaching subjects Fox News' conservative audience might find objectionable.

You can hear Mamet's remarks in the video below.

Mamet said:

"We have to take back control. If there's no community control, what we have is not only kids 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're abusing them mentally and using sex to do so. This has always been the problem with education, that teachers are inclined, particularly men because men are predators, to pedophilia."
"And that's why there were strict, um... community strictures about it, thank God. So this started to break down when the schools said, 'You know what, we have to teach kids about sex. Why? Because what if they don't do it at home.'"

Mamet did not back up his statements with facts.

Instead he echoed rhetoric Republican politicians who pushed legislation banning discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity in classrooms employed.

His appearance on Fox News is just the most high-profile one yet to promote his new book, Recessional: The Death of Free Speech and the Cost of a Free Lunch.

Mamet's remarks angered Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who said they are "a repulsive demonization of the very people who have been the lifeline to our kids."

Weingarten added "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 others also criticized Mamet.

Mamet's remarks were said in support of Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" law, which has galvanized the right-wing effort to place restrictions on the ability of public school teachers in the state to discuss sexual orientation and gender identity with students.

Florida’s Republican-sponsored Parental Rights in Education bill, or H.B. 1557, was recently signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The law, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, aims to “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children in a specified manner.”

The law wants to prohibit “a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a specified manner” and authorizes parents to “bring an action against a school district to obtain a declaratory judgment that a school district procedure or practice violates certain provisions of law.”