Anita Sarkeesian’s appearance on Utah State’s campus Wednesday has been cancelled. The announcement comes in light of a threatening letter from an anonymous source.
Numerous Utah State University personnel received an email Tuesday stating that if the Common Hour presentation by feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian was not cancelled, “a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as students and staff at the nearby Women’s Center.”
USU officials confirmed that the terror threat was made via an anonymous email by an individual claiming to be a student at the university. The message was sent to Ann Austin, director of the Center for Women and Gender, as well as several other university personnel.
“I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs. This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history and I’m giving you a chance to stop it,” the email states.
Sarkeesian, the founder of video blog “Feminist Frequency” has been under attack since 2012 receiving similar death threats since she launched a fundraising campaign for the creation of the video series “Tropes vs Women in Video Games” which analyzes the depiction of women in video games.
The email states that “Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman.”
It continues, ” I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”
Initially the event was to go on as planned, however an announcement came late Tuesday night from Tim Vitale, executive director of public relations and marketing at USU, that it would be cancelled.
“Utah State University police is coordinating the threat information with other local, state and federal agencies, including the Utah Statewide Information and Analysis Center, the FBI Cyber Terrorism Task Force, and the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit. After a careful assessment of the threat it has been determined it is similar to other threats that Sarkeesian has received in the past, and all university business will be conducted as scheduled tomorrow,” the release states.
Sarkeesian is one of many women who have received similar threats as part of a controversy in video game culture referred to as Gamergate, which concerns the issues of sexism and misogyny in video games and gaming culture. This weekend, game developer Brianna Wu had to leave her home after receiving numerous death threats on Twitter, some including her home address. Sarkeesian and Wu are just two of the women who are openly critical of Gamergate.