Thursday, December 8

UPDATE – Walsh U. Pres: Actor’s Content Does Not Meet Our Values & Standards; Actor Responds

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Following the story that actor Daniel Franzese (“Mean Girls”, “Looking”) had been fired from a contract he had with Walsh University to host their Mr. Walsh Pageant, Dr. Tim Collins, President of Walsh University, sent a public letter clarifying the stance of the Catholic university in North Canton, Ohio.
Previously, Walsh University provided The Buckeye Flame with the following statement:

Mr. Daniel Franzese has neither been employed nor under contract for any services in any form at any time with Walsh University. The email he cites from Director of Student Activities and Leadership Anna Borges reflects her personal views.

In the public letter posted on Friday, Collins states that Franzese’s content did indeed play a part in the decision not to bring him to campus.
“Mr. Franzese’s professional content does not meet our standards,” Collins writes, citing the titles of some episodes of Franzese’s “Yass, Jesus” podcast, including “Jesus is the OG Zombie” and “Penises Everywhere.”
Collins further writes that the University has always “welcomed all,” and that individuals at Walsh are not asked “to surrender who they are” so long as they  “take on the cloak of [Walsh’s] core values of faith, excellence, integrity, service, and community as [they]  relentlessly pursue their mission to build men and women in service to others in the Judeo-Christian tradition.”


Franzese has responded to Collins’ letter with a new video, stating that he has received an “outpouring of messages from Walsh University students, alumni and faculty and former employees all speaking against homophobic and toxic environmental situations that they allege have been created by the administration.”

Franzese continues by urging Walsh administrators to listen to its LGBTQ+ and ally members:

See what your community of Cavaliers want to say to you. Listen with an open heart and an open mind. Queer Catholics want to maintain a relationship with Christ. Help them do that. Let them have the LGBTQ Alliance group they have been trying to have on campus for 15 years.

This story comes the same week that a new survey was just released revealing that LGBTQ+ students at Christian colleges face increased harassment. The survey indicated that “gender minority students are seven times more likely to be sexually assaulted on their Christian campus than cisgender students (14% v. 2%).” 🔥

About Author

Ken Schneck is the Editor of The Buckeye Flame. He received the 2021 Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBTQ Journalist of the Year from the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. He is the author of "Seriously, What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew" (2017), "LGBTQ Cleveland" (2018), "LGBTQ Columbus" (2019), and "LGBTQ Cincinnati" (2020). In his spare time, he is a professor of education at Baldwin Wallace University.

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