Amazingly a company has stood up to the tolerant hordes that are demanding a movie be banned from theaters.
There had been a time in the not so distant past that the concept of censorship had been a flashpoint cause for those on the left. The mere mention of limiting any amount of content in a motion picture, let’s say, would bring out the loud rebukes. If religious groups were outraged at their depiction in film scorn would rain down at the appearance of wanting to silence artists.
Even Harvey Weinstein years back would invoke the threat when it came to mundane acts like how his movies were rated by the MPAA.
These days those leftists are not only more comfortable with censoring activities, but they are also applauding them. We are in an era where journalists are encouraging other journalistic outlets to be silenced and removed from social platforms. It is without hyperbole that comparing some things we are seeing to George Orwell’s “1984” takes place. Policing how we think is actually being attempted.
The recent anti-abortion drama “Unplanned” endured some of the silencing tactics when it was released into theaters last April, yet it still managed to become a modest hit on its own terms. Most major cable television networks refused to run commercials for the film, and the Motion Picture Association gave the movie an “R-rating”, which limited its audience reach. This also delivered a crude irony: girls under the age of 18 were prevented from seeing a film about abortion, yet they are able to get an actual abortion procedure in many states.
It is now being released into Canadian theatres and some on the left are incensed about that. The opposition has been so virulent that there have been threats of violence called into theaters that were scheduling the film. And there have been calls for the film to be banned outright.
In a refreshing dose of sanity and sober thinking the theater chain in Canada, Cineplex, has issued a statement defending its decision. Ellis Jacob, the President, and CEO of the theater chain issued a statement letter declaring they would not be backing down from exhibiting “Unplanned”. The irony that it is members of the left calling for the suppression of art is actually lost on those from the liberal wing.
“I understand and can appreciate the concerns about the film,” Jacob said in his letter, “but it is up to each of us to decide whether or not we want to see it.” In other words, he says that he trusts adults to be able to make a decision for themselves. Imagine that kind of thinking, from a corporate head. “In Canada, we have the option, and I think it is an important thing to remember.”
This outrage is both revealing, and it is imbalanced. The revealing aspect is that it seems a number of leftists feel threatened that a film that offers content in opposition to their own cherished political views. That they feel a need to restrict the title is indicative of a perceived threat. The imbalance comes from the very small platform the film is receiving in that country. Cineplex has 1,700 screens across Canada — “Unplanned” is being shown on just 14 screens. The leftists still regard this small rollout as a threat.
There have been reports of select theaters canceling scheduled viewings as a result of threats. This tactic has become more normalized from the militants on the left. It is a healthy thing to see a company actually standing up in the face of this type of imbalanced activist reaction.
This sure differs from the common reaction we have been witnessing from companies lately. The norm has been for companies to see a social media-manufactured maelstrom taking place and then cowing to the digital hordes. It has to be pointed out that it is liberal activists who are at the front lines of the calls for censorship and the banning of artistic content. This is a wide departure from their positions on such matters just a generation ago. Nowadays those who are on the creative side of the culture are more than willing to engage in stifling select creative works they deem unfit.
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Author: Brad Slager