A slew of posters calling the Columbia student who carried around a mattress after being raped a liar popped up near Broadway Wednesday, as students across the Ivy League’s Morningside Heights campus were graduating.
The posters were plastered throughout the neighborhood and subway station surrounding the campus and seemed to be taken down hours later. A Twitter account @fakerape appeared to take credit for the posters, putting up photos of them at various locations.
Emma Sulkowicz, who reportedly graduated Columbia on Tuesday with her mattress in tow, has said she was sexually assaulted in 2013 by a fellow student. She has said her complaints to the school were not handled properly and the university dismissed her case and appeal.
Sulkowicz started carting around a mattress as a form of protest in September 2014, according to reports.
In April, the man Sulkowicz accused of raping her filed a lawsuit against Columbia, claiming the school allowed her to harass him and defame his character by carrying the mattress, according to a report.
The posters depicted Sulkowicz with a mattress and the words “pretty little liar.” Another poster showed “Girls” star Lena Dunham sticking her tongue out and using her fingers to show the letter L on her forward, with the words “big fat liar.”
The Twitter account who posted the photos, and used a photo of Sulkowicz as the profile photo, declined to give a real name.
“We want to educate people about fake rape claims & how damaging they are,” they wrote to amNewYork when contacted through Twitter. “From UVA to Columbia to UMiami, due process matters.”
A spokeswoman for Columbia said the school had no information on the posters on Broadway.
“Our consistent message to our own university community has emphasized the importance of mutual respect for all graduates and their guests on these days of shared celebration,” Spokeswoman Victoria Benitez said in an email.
By Wednesday afternoon, the posters had been taken down and many graduates were seen walking around campus with their families.
(with Keira Alexander)