University Blocks Honorary Degree for Playwright Tony

May 5, 2011 - 5:45 AM

New York (AP) - The trustees of the City University of New York have voted to block a planned honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner.

The vote Monday night came after one trustee said the "Angels in America" playwright had made disparaging comments about Israel in the past.

In an interview with The New York Times, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer says he is a strong supporter of Israel's right to exist. He says he believes the board has slandered him and owes him an apology.

Kushner says he wouldn't accept the degree now even if the board changed its mind.

The degree was to have been awarded by CUNY's John Jay College.

The story was first reported in The Jewish Week on Tuesday.