Student asks UCSD to cancel class about Woody Allen’s movies

SAN DIEGO -- A University of California, San Diego student is collecting signatures to lobby the school to cancel a film class dedicated to the work of director Woody Allen.

“I set the bar at 1,000 and I didn’t really expect to hit 1,000,” said Savanah Lyon, who as of Thursday held a stack of petitions calling on the university to cancel the class, "The Films of Woody Allen."

So far, she has collected more than 11,600 signatures. Lyon was inspired to start the signature drive after Allen's adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, publicly accused him last month of sexually abusing her as a child.

"From the outside, all you can see is a class that is glorifying yet another person who has multiple allegations up against him about sexual assault. This is an insult to survivors everywhere,” said Lyon.

Some students sympathize with Lyon's point of view but say getting rid of the class is extreme.

“People all have different perspectives of separating the work from the man. I personally don’t have an issue with the class, obviously just appreciate the work of Woody Allen, just blur him out,” said Juan Gonzalez.

But that isn’t good enough for Lyon. She believes the art is defined by the artist and giving Allen a platform is wrong. Lyon has gone to the professor of the course and the department head. She’s hoping now, with enough signatures, they’ll be forced to remove the class.

Both declined to comment, but the university issued a statement that reads in part: "The university’s Academic Senate, which oversees curriculum on campus, is currently reviewing this request.”

Lyon says she was told it would be a long shot to get the university to take her request seriously. She gives credit to all those who signed the petition.

“This class doesn’t teach anything specific about Woody Allen in that it teaches film structure and narrative through films, but you could pick any other director's films and teach the same exact things," she said. "It's a choice made by the professor, Steven Adler, and the school."

Lyon told FOX 5 she also plans to contact students at UC Berkeley because they have a writing course dedicated to Woody Allen’s work.