No (Film) School? Oscar Nominee David Mamet Says to Hell with Universities Altogether

It wouldn't be complete without a Mamet take.

Leave it (or maybe don't) to Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet to offer an unsolicited take on the "Varsity Blues" college bribery scandal that's reveal took the nation by storm yesterday morning.

Significantly covered as "that scandal involving TV actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin's attempts to get their teens into prestigious universities illegally," the expose' has been the talk of both Hollywood and sociologists; the rich are rigging the system for a rigged system once again. 

Now Mamet, who has worked significantly with Huffman and her husband, William H. Macy, on previous projects has come to the aid of his friends in an open letter released to the public earlier today. In it, he takes elite universities of all kinds to task for their legalized bribery techniques that often go under the radar. Do you agree with him? Read on to find out.

"If ever there were a use for the Texas Verdict, this is it. For the uninitiated, the Texas Verdict is: 'Not Guilty, but Don’t do it Again.'"

I worked for very many years in and around our Elite Universities. I am able to report that their admissions policies are an unfortunate and corrupt joke.

Harvard was once sued for restricting the admission of qualified Jews; a contest currently being waged by Asians.

The unqualified may be accepted for many reasons, among them, as Legacies, and on account of large donations made by their parents. I do not see the difference between getting a kid into school by bribing the Building Committee, and by bribing someone else. But, apparently, the second is against the Law. So be it.

I’ve known and worked with Bill Macy for nearly fifty years. We started two theatre companies together, one of which, THE ATLANTIC is still in operation in New
York, after 35 years.

I’ve known Felicity Huffman for those 35 years, she was my student, my colleague, worked in many of my films, and created roles on stage in three of my plays.
I’m crazy about them both.

That a parent’s zeal for her children’s future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon.

If ever there were a use for the Texas Verdict, this is it. For the uninitiated, the Texas Verdict is: “Not Guilty, but Don’t do it Again.”

Do you agree with Mamet's take on the corruptness of college universities? Let us know in the comments below.     

Your Comment


American elite universities are created to keep the rich wealthy and the poor in their place. The ocasional token outsider is admitted under certain circumstances. But we don't need to buy into this system. We do what the fuck we want and make great movies.

March 14, 2019 at 8:22AM

Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer

I appreciate the desire to come to the aid of longtime friends. The actors will become the face of this while rich (but not famous) hedge fund managers will remain relatively anonymous. At the same time, it's really hard for low to middle income parents to have great sympathy for wealthy parents who bypass good values and cheat to give their children everything, even letting them believe (falsely) that they've earned it. When we cheat for our children, we perpetuate an unfair system as well as an entitled attitude. The better verdict would be that these people pay the same amount they paid in bribes to feed, house, and educate worthy students who otherwise are condemned to a life of student debt, or perhaps worse, no higher education at all.

March 15, 2019 at 6:42AM

Suzan Satterfield
Writer/Producer/Content Creator

Always a shame to watch the decay of a once-great talent. Mamet wrote some really good plays and movies, but for a couple of decades now has been a parody of a cranky old man. Now he's defending criminals just because they're his friends. Sad.

-- Damian

March 15, 2019 at 1:52PM

Minor Mogul