‘Three Billboards’ Pulls Out of Fantastic Fest Following Sexual Assault Controversy (EXCLUSIVE)

'Three Billboards' Pulls Out of Fantastic

In the wake of controversy surrounding Austin-based genre film festival Fantastic Fest, scheduled to run Sept. 21-28, Fox Searchlight Pictures has pulled a planned screening of Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Variety has learned.

The move comes days after it was revealed that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which hosts Fantastic Fest, had quietly been employing disgraced former Birth.Movies.Death editor-in-chief Devin Faraci as a copywriter for months. Faraci made headlines in October 2016 when he was publicly accused of sexual assault and stepped down from his position at the Drafthouse-owned website.

“In light of recent events, the makers of ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,’ have decided not to participate in Fantastic Fest,” a Searchlight rep said in a statement when reached for comment. The studio would not comment further.

The revelation of Faraci’s re-employment had other repercussions as well. It led to the exit of Fantastic Fest programmer Todd Brown, who resigned in protest.

Related

Devin Faraci Birth.Movies.Death

Devin Faraci Steps Down From Alamo Drafthouse Again After Backlash

“Anyone who has ever suggested that Fantastic Fest and the Drafthouse is just the geek friendly equivalent of the classic Old Boys Club, you have just been proven correct,” Brown said in a lengthy Facebook post explaining his decision. “There it is, the Club utterly ignoring the victim while it creates a protective ring around the perpetrator … I am embarrassed and ashamed to have been any part of this apparatus and I choose now to leave it.”

After the ensuing internet uproar, Drafthouse CEO Tim League announced that Faraci and the company had officially broken ties for good.

“Our company values the ability to reflect on our actions both individually and as a team,” League said in a statement to his staff announcing Faraci’s second resignation. He then revealed plans to host a series of “small group discussions” focused on the matter, which were to begin Friday.

A rep for Fantastic Fest would not comment.

Other high-profile films scheduled to play Fantastic Fest include A24’s “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” Paramount’s “Downsizing,” and Magnolia’s Palme d’Or-winner “The Square.”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” has screened at the Venice and Toronto film festivals so far. It tells the story of a small town woman, played by Frances McDormand, seeking justice for her raped and murdered daughter after months go by without an arrest.

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  1. S lutbong says:

    That guy looks like a rapist.

  2. James Donnelly says:

    It is ABUNDANTLY clear that most of the commenters here have zero clue what the fuck they’re dealing with when it comes to Faraci and League. Faraci was accused, and not only did he NOT refute this accusation, he indicated that his actions were attributed to alcoholism. He left/was fired from his position as EIC of Birth.Movies.Death and it was implied by Alamo that he no longer worked there when he actually had been working from home.

    Then an email surfaced where League essentially told another accuser to not say anything about her assault by Faraci as “It may hurt the BMD brand”.

    This is not some dog-whistle issue where an innocent man’s life is being ruined. Faraci is not innocent of what he’s accused of, and League is complicit in covering it up. If you’re going to defend someone, maybe take 5 fucking minutes to read about the issue.

  3. Wil says:

    We should most definitely have a policy in this country of firing someone any time they are accused or suspected of having done something wrong. I support this move 100%. Why risk offending many people when all we have to do to avoid that is destroy one life that might even be guilty of something?

  4. James says:

    It was the right thing to do.

    They don’t gain anything from such a screening: Austin is not relevant for Oscar voting & it sends the wrong message to be associated with a film festival run by perverts and those, who support perverts.

    Especially if your own movie deals with sexual abuse & perverts.

    Simple as that.

  5. Pj says:

    Fantastic Mess

  6. P. Murt says:

    I will never give another dollar to Alamo over this crap situation.

    If they don’t have the balls to stand up to fascist mob mentality, they don’t deserve anyone’s money.

    • C.S.Strowbridge says:

      Wait… You’re upset the Alamo fired the guy who admitted to sexually assaulting a woman. Am I reading that right?

      • Saul says:

        No you’re not reading right, he was accused… so I accuse YOU of sexual assault, so now you’re a rapist… that’s how it is now, you ARE a rapist because you were accused of rape. So you can’t ever work again either. No trial, no conviction, not even an acquittal, just an accusation and you’re life is over….

  7. Tiffany Criswell says:

    Thanks for pulling a movie that *especially* needs to play after this week’s events. Thanks for missing an opportunity for real growth in an industry that needs it. Thanks for punishing innocent festival-goers who save up all year to go to this festival. Thanks for punishing the hundreds of people who work all year to make this festival happen, all to prove a point to two dipshits. I hope you feel great about yourselves, you tone-deaf Searchlight pricks.

    • LBB says:

      If you saw the trailer, you’ll see the movie. They were doing the festival a favor by screening it there and the organizers showed they didn’t deserve favors. League needs to really think about his actions and consequences are good at motivating that, which is something he failed to understand when it came to Faraci.

      Screw the Alamo. Good on you, Searchlight and McDonagh.

    • psmith says:

      Yeah pretty crazy of them to pull out of a festival which has been covertly employing a sexual abuser for nearly a year after pretending to fire him.

    • millerfilm says:

      Why would you spend money to go to that thing in the first place? Just wait until these movies are available in regular release.

      • Honestly. Preach it, millerfilm. You only have to wait another month for Three Billboards. It’s not as if it’s an advanced screening of Ready Player One that’s been pulled. There you’d have a case for feeling cheated.

        The only good point Tiffany makes is that a film dealing, at least partially, with sexual assault could’ve been worth instigating discussion. But I guess they took the pussy route and made a statement by being offended instead.

  8. Weary says:

    As Astro would say: “Ruh-roh!”

  9. Jimmy Green says:

    A ludicrous move on the film makers part. If the film NEEDS to be screened then use the screening to make your point.

  10. iamtrue2bill says:

    I am always reticent to judge someone solely on an accusation. However, it appears from this article that Mr. Faraci was guilty of the sexual assault charge last year. Employing him secretively was not smart, and not ethical. I must agree with Mr. Brown, that this is an “Old Boys Club” move, and a disgraceful one.

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