Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet is under fire after bizarrely claiming on Fox News that teachers are "inclined" to "pedophilia."
"If there's no community control of the schools, what we have is kids being not only indoctrinated, but groomed in a very real sense by people who are, whether they know it or not, sexual predators," Mamet claimed. "Are they abusing the kids physically? No, I don't think so. But they're abusing them mentally."
Mamet then claimed, "This has always been the problem with education, is that teachers are inclined, particularly men because men are predators, to pedophilia."
The comments were made during a discussion sparked by Florida's so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill restricting schools from teaching kids about gender identity and sexual orientation. The press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has claimed that anyone who is against the bill is "probably a groomer," and this line of attack has become popular on the right in recent weeks, especially after Disney condemned the legislation.
Host Mark Levin did not question Mamet's claim that teachers are "inclined" to pedophilia and agreed with him that "the culture" is "quite sick."
Mamet faced criticism for the comments on Monday, though, with Matt Duss, foreign policy adviser for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) calling the clip "despicable." Writer Mark Harris also tweeted, "At a time of increasing threats to gay people, David Mamet has chosen to ally himself with the purveyors of a vicious, ugly slander that will endanger teachers and LGBT Americans. It's inexcusable."
The controversy came just as American Buffalo, a revival of Mamet's play starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell, and Darren Criss, is set to open this week on Broadway.