You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Priest’ foes pass over Miramax, boycott Disney

The Catholic group that slammed the Walt Disney Co. and subsidiary Miramax Films for planning to release “Priest” on Good Friday is staging a nationwide boycott of Disney products and a call to flood Disney’s phone lines with complaints.

“This is not something that might happen, rather it is something that is already under way,” said William A. Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

The Catholic League was joined in the boycott call by a Christian group claiming to be the largest pro-life organization in the country with 300,000 supporters. That group, the Stafford, Va.-based American Life League, issued a statement Tuesday calling the Antonia Bird-directed film “blasphemous,” “smut” and “sacrilegious.” American Life League president Judie Brown also “demands” that Disney withdraw the film from distribution and that Disney president and CEO Michael Eisner “be fired.”

The call for a boycott comes on the heels of the film’s wide release date change: from April 14 – Good Friday – to April 19 in response to the Catholic League’s complaints.

The film, a sharp-edged examination of the priesthood that features actor Linus Roache as a young cleric coming to terms with his homosexuality, already is on screens in New York and Los Angeles.

Priest” has received critical kudos at the Toronto, Berlin and Sundance films fests.

Perhaps because Miramax’s reputation was practically built on controversial arthouse fare, the Christian groups are targeting the more image-sensitive Disney in efforts to squelch the movie. Although Disney and Miramax execs maintain that the indie distrib operates on an autonomous basis, the anti-“Priest” factions clearly are hoping to pit Disney’s family image against the controversial film. Donohue said he spoke to John Dreyer, Disney’s VP of corporate communications, and was told “that Disney would take absolutely no responsibility for the Miramax-released movie.”

Disney had no futher comment on the boycott.

But in response to his conversation with Dreyer, Donohue said the League is “calling for a boycott of all Disney products, a boycott of vacations to Disney World and Disneyland and a boycott of the Disney cable television channel.” The League also is asking Catholic organizations to sell any Disney stock it may have.

The League statement also asks “the public to call Disney and tie up the lines by making a complaint.” Donohue claimed, “Disney has already disabled one of its phone numbers due to the public’s response.” The May issue of the League’s journal Catalyst includes postcards of “outrage” to send to Disney.

More Film

  • Christian Bale'Vice' film premiere, Arrivals, Los

    Christian Bale Recalls Meeting Donald Trump: 'He Thought I Was Bruce Wayne'

    With Christian Bale’s latest film, “Vice,” a political dramedy, it’s inevitable ties will be drawn between the film and the current political administration and its chief, President Donald Trump. On the red carpet for the premiere of “Vice,” Bale, who stars as former Vice President Dick Cheney, shared that he met the current president while [...]

  • ‘Bumblebee’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Bumblebee’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Bumblebee.” Ads placed for the sci-fi/action film had an estimated media value of $6.31 million through Sunday for 941 national [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds Stunt

    Film News Roundup: Ryan Reynolds' Michael Bay Film '6 Underground' Wraps Production

    In today’s film news roundup, shooting has wrapped on Ryan Reynolds’ “6 Underground,” BAFTA LA names new board members, and the WGA East honors longtime exec Randall Jasta.  PRODUCTION Michael Bay’s Ryan Reynolds-starrer “6 Underground” has wrapped production. Netflix and Skydance Media completed principal photography in Abu Dhabi on the action-adventure, which reportedly carries a $125 [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen on Broadway

    Film Review: 'Springsteen on Broadway'

    Hope you like the 69-year-old version of Bruce Springsteen’s face, because it’s virtually all you’re going to see for the two hours and 40 minutes of the filmed “Springsteen on Broadway” — other than the bare brick wall of the theater casting a dim glow in the background beyond those gray sideburns, and two songs’ [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'A Star Is Born,' 'Vice' Lead 2018 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Nominees

    The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) announced their nominees for the 8th annual AACTA International Awards on Tuesday. “A Star Is Born” and “Vice” lead the pack, with five and four nominations respectively. The two leading films compete with “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Roma” for best film, while Nicole Kidman becomes the [...]

  • China's Government Orders Talent Home to

    After Golden Horse Awards Embarrassment, China Orders Talent Home for Huabiao Ceremony

    China’s government quietly ordered top Chinese talent back to the mainland from abroad this past weekend to attend a Beijing ceremony for its highest film industry honors, the loosely bi-annual Huabiao Awards. The move came just weeks after it directed mainland film executives and talent to snub after-parties and return home as quickly as possible [...]

  • Fotosintesis Readies Mexico-U.S. Immigration Animated Feature

    Fotosintesis Readies Immigration Animated Feature ‘Beast’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Mexico City-based Fotosintesis Media, a joint initiative of Mexico’s Mantarraya Group and writer-director Miguel Angel Uriegas, is moving into pre-production this January on “Beast,” the third Mexican animated feature from the cause-driven entertainment label. News of the move comes as Uriegas presents at Ventana Sur’s Animation! forum 15 minutes of work in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content