Faculty had compared professor to Hitler in recording
Controversial professor Jordan Peterson is suing Wilfrid Laurier University for defamation, claiming that officials at the Toronto school slandered him when comparing him to Adolf Hitler because of his unorthodox views regarding transgenderism.
The lawsuit, which seeks damages equivalent to $1.5 million, state that “comments made in a closed meeting were defamatory and intended to discredit Peterson,” according to Global News.
The comments were made after Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant at the university, showed a video clip to her class of Peterson debating the proper usage of transgender pronouns. Peterson has been an outspoken critic of transgender ideology.
Shepherd was called into a meeting with university officials to discuss the playing of the video clip. Shepherd secretly recorded the meeting and subsequently released the audio.
From the report:
Comments in the meeting included a comparison of Peterson’s speech to Hitler, and a comparison of his opinion to that of an anti-trans, anti-gay, anti-women white supremacist. They also called him “academically suspect” and said he exhibited “charlatanism,” according to the unproven Statement of Claim.
Despite the fact that the meeting was private, Peterson and his lawyers allege the faculty should have known the content of the meeting could have lasting consequences.
“Although the individual Defendants did not personally disseminate and broadcast it further… they could have reasonably anticipated that … [Shepherd] would inform others of what had occurred,” the statement reads.
A statement from Wilfrid Laurier said that the university “remains committed to intellectual inquiry, critical reflection, scholarly integrity, academic freedom and freedom of expression while striving to be a supportive and inclusive community.”