Statement by the Director, National Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History recently approved a request by the Discovery Institute to hold a private, invitation-only screening and reception at the Museum on June 23 for the film “The Privileged Planet.” Upon further review we have determined that the content of the film is not consistent with the mission of the Smithsonian Institution’s scientific research. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the National Museum of Natural History supports or endorses the Discovery Institute or the film “The Privileged Planet.” However, since Smithsonian policy states that all events held at any museum be “co-sponsored” by the director and the outside organization, and we have signed an agreement with this organization, we will honor the commitment made to provide space for the event.
Whatever that means.
Politically, this may be the best outcome. Had the film been pulled, DI would claim it was censorship. As it is, the Smithsonian has stopped claiming this was an apolitical and areligious event, and has withdrawn its support, leaving DI without $16,000 and no gain in credibility.