(KUTV) — The President of the University of Utah published a statement responding to a tweet by comedian David Cross.
The actor and comedian posted the tweet on Saturday to promote his performance at Kingsbury Hall and tagged the University.
The image posted features Cross wearing sacred garments worn by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The tweet has since received many responses, and some people say the image crossed a line.
University of Utah President Ruth V. Watkins responded on the University's website saying:
"The University of Utah condemns bigotry and religious intolerance in any form. The offensive use of sacred religious imagery in a tweet by David Cross promoting his performance at Kingsbury Hall was in opposition to the university's values of respect and inclusivity.
The use of the imagery was deeply offensive. At the same time, the first amendment protects such speech and the university cannot and will not censor content of those coming to campus. We acknowledge the free speech rights of individuals and entities who rent university facilities--even those with whom we disagree. By doing so we protect the free speech rights of all."
The statement also adds that the performance is produced by a promoter renting the venue that is not associated with the University of Utah. The university rents many of its facilities to outside groups.