Professor Claims Course Distorted In TOMMY LEE Show

Meredith Grunke of the Daily Nebraskan has issued the following report:

Since "Tommy Lee Goes to College" first aired in August, few major complaints have surfaced about the show’s portrayal of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

However, one UNL English professor said Tuesday's episode misrepresented her Native American Literature class and the English and Women's Studies departments.

Fran Kaye, who taught the literature class Tommy Lee participated in, said the show distorted a class discussion about the symbolism of babies and penises in American Indian literature and Tommy Lee's autobiography, "Tommyland".

Kaye said she originally didn’t want to discuss Lee's book because she was afraid of taking time away from other material in the class.

The producers of the show persuaded her to talk about two parts of the book — the birth of Lee's children and Lee's conversation with his penis — and Kaye said she agreed to discuss both because they related to symbols in American Indian literature.

She said in some American Indian tales, penises are symbolic of "trickster" characters, and some literature ends with the birth of a child as a symbol of a new beginning.

The editors of the show tried to clump the two conversations together, Kaye said, which misrepresented the discussion.

"I'm not asking (Tommy Lee and the crew) to apologize, but I just feel betrayed," she said.

Read the rest of the article at


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