Hollywood: $2 million lawsuit for blocking an anti-gay movie.

 

It all started when an Anglican-Christian writer/housewife from Manchester England, submitted her screenplay (titled Righteous Filth) to one of the leading Hollywood pitching firms (MoviePitcher.com), in the hopes of it being picked up by a major Hollywood studio.

Three months later and much to her surprise, she received a $1.4 million offer from one of the major studios for purchasing the rights to the screenplay. Amidst the enthusiastic preparation for negotiation and closing of the deal, the offer was revoked, leaving her with nothing but a three day exhilarating thrill.

According to our UK sources, the studio provided an ambiguous excuse along the lines of “after careful consideration and despite the creatively intriguing story, the project does not fit the profile of what we are looking for.” While the agency (MoviePitcher.com) that promoted it, have disassociated itself from the project prior to the studios response.

While it was impossible to get any further details from the studio, in an exclusive interview with the agencies representative, he stated:

Why did your company withdraw itself from the project?

Our company felt that the screenplay portrayed extreme anti-gay views that promoted hatred.

Are you saying that you would have been attached to the project had it been pro-gay?

If it was pro-gay, it would have been a different project and we would have to consider it for what it is.

So does your company have a pro-gay approach to projects?

Let me make it as clear as possible. A company cannot be pro-gay or anti-gay since a company is made up of the people that work there and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. So our company is neither pro or anti-gay but I can assure you that we are anti-hatred.

Isn’t hatred for homosexuals something that is at the same time real but also something that could be expressed through a medium like a movie? Doesn’t freedom of speech include such interpretations of what could be considered to be artistic expression?

Yes, hatred is real and obviously it can be expressed through different media, and it happens around us every day on the internet, YouTube, TV, movies, newspapers you name it. What I don’t understand is, why is our company is obligated to endorse it? We reserve the right to disassociate ourselves from any project, especially one that promotes hatred. This is not the first time that we decided to keep out of projects, even though they could be cash cows. Just recently there was a project on abortion and our philosophy is exactly the same, nether pro or against but if we feel that it is strongly dogmatic in either direction and promotes hatred, we choose not to associate with. Would you do otherwise?

Being such a key player in what gets made in Hollywood, and having in mind the global impact that Hollywood has on the rest of the world, wouldn’t you say that blocking projects is in advertently making a statement pro or against?

With great power comes great responsibility and this is why we never blocked any projects. Our goal is to help people promote their ideas to Hollywood and to bring democracy to the pitching process. Blocking projects would do just the opposite of that.

So you are saying that you promoted the project?

Off course we promoted the project in exactly the same way that we do with every single project that comes to us. This is why our client received the offer from the studio in the first place.

Didn’t your companies’ decision to stay out of it affect the studio?

I’m not sure what their reasons where to withdraw their offer, but the ultimate decision is ultimately up to the studio. I’m not sure what came to light after they made the offer and anything else I say would be speculation.

Why didn’t your company reject it from the start?

We do not decide what gets made. We have a democratic approach to promote projects through exposure to key studios, networks and production companies. It is their decision. Our process is simple; we register and catalog projects in order to promote them. The review on being an associate producer on a project begins only when there is serious interest from a studio. That’s exactly what happened, when we received an offer, we considered it and decided that even though the project will start development, directly between the studio and the client, we would not be part of it.

What do you think would be the most likely outcome of the lawsuit?

Even though it doesn’t concern our company and therefore I don’t have any information on the case, I would be very surprised if there is any legal ground against the studio. Then again I’m not a British barrister so anything goes.

Sources confirm that the author of the screenplay has filed complaints with local authorities after receiving threats from pro-gay activists, even though the content of the screenplay is held strictly confidential until this day.

Even though the specific studio is not likely to reconsider the offer, there is a lot of speculation that the screenplay might reach the big screen after all because of the publicity and controversy that was created.

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