×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judge Judy Establishes Sheindlin Forum for Debates at USC Annenberg School

Judge Judy” star Judith Sheindlin has made a gift to USC Annenberg that establishes a high-tech center for debates and fellowships for graduate students at the journalism and communications school.

The Sheindlin Forum will be home to the USC Annenberg Debate Series, a program that will involve noted speakers, USC students and local high school students. The Sheindlin Debate Fellows program will support USC students tasked with running the debate series.

Sheindlin told Variety that she was inspired to establish the center in an effort to foster civil discourse on the campus. She’s dismayed by the rampant reports of strife and threats of violence over speakers on college campuses at a time of extreme political polarization in the country.

“How can you make up your mind on an issue if you don’t have information,” Sheindlin said. “College campuses have historically been progressive places where a thinking person can listen to all sides of an argument. If you only want to listen to voices that support your opinion, I think that makes you small-minded.”

Sheindlin said she and her husband, Jerry Sheindlin (himself a former star of “The People’s Court”), chose USC because one of their granddaughters attends the school. She’s also become friendly with Wallis Annenberg in recent years.

“USC really is a vibrant and wonderful place,” she said. “The Annenberg School is a little gem in the midst of all of it.”

The Sheindlin Forum will formally open today with a ceremony and debate attended by the Sheindlins and Willow Bay, dean of USC Annenberg.

“We want USC Annenberg to lead these conversations and be a center of well-informed and substantial dialogue and debate,” Bay said. “This is at the heart of the intellectual and academic experience we provide, and the Sheindlins’ generous gift will allow us to expand our debate programs not only at USC, but into our wider community.”

More TV

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Ken Jeong to Star in CBS

    Ken Jeong to Star in CBS Comedy Pilot From 'Crazy Rich Asians' Author Kevin Kwan

    A “Crazy Rich Asians” reunion is happening at CBS. Ken Jeong has been cast in a lead role in the multi-camera comedy pilot “The Emperor of Malibu,” which is being co-written and executive produced by “Crazy Rich Asians” author Kevin Kwan. In the series, Auggie, the son of a Chinese tech billionaire, announces his engagement [...]

  • Jussie SmollettFOX 'Empire' TV show panel,

    Jussie Smollett Case: Chicago Police Arrest Two Suspects

    Chicago police confirmed on Friday that they have arrested two suspects in the case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. The police did not state what charges the men are being held on. Local media have identified the men as two brothers from Nigeria, though law enforcement has not confirmed their identities. Smollett’s representatives have declined [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content