October 15, 2014 / 2:10 AM / 4 years ago

Feminist blogger Sarkeesian cancels Utah speech after threat

(Reuters) - A Canadian-American feminist, media critic and blogger has canceled a speech she was due to give at Utah State University after an email threat was sent to the school, the university said late on Tuesday.

Anita Sarkeesian, who has drawn headlines with a campaign to raise money for a project to explore female stereotypes in video games, had been due to speak on that subject on Wednesday at USU’s Taggart Student Center in Logan.

The university said in a statement, however, that a number of its staff received an email containing threats to Sarkeesian and those who planned to attend. USU said she then asked if weapons would be permitted at the speaking venue.

“Sarkeesian was informed that, in accordance with the State of Utah law regarding the carrying of firearms, if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue,” the school said.

The USU police is working on the threat with local, state and federal agencies including the FBI, it added. The school did not elaborate on the email, but local media said it threatened “the deadliest school shooting in American history.”

Before Sarkeesian canceled, USU had already put in place enhanced security measures for the speech, organized by the Center for Women and Gender, including banning attendees from bringing in backpacks or other large bags.

Sarkeesian is the author of the video blog “Feminist Frequency.” She has often been the subject of online threats and harassment since launching a Kickstarter in 2012 that sought to explore the depiction of women in film, TV and video games.

Reporting by Daniel Wallis in Denver

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