From the Catholic League:
Release Date: Sept 20, 2002
Miramax is at it again.
For Immediate Release: Miramax, a film distribution arm of Disney, has a history of antagonizing Catholic audiences with the distribution of movies like "Butcher Boy" and "40 Days and 40 Nights," as well as the notoriously anti-Catholic films: "Priest" and "Dogma."
Now Miramax is at it again. They have chosen to distribute "The Magdalene Sisters." A film by director Peter Mullan that has been described as a "scathing attack" on the Catholic Church, and more specifically, one order of Irish nuns.
The subject of this film is 19th and 20th century religious institutions, derisively know as "Magdalene Laundries." These institutions worked with homeless women and prostitutes, long before modern social programs were developed. Exploiting the fact that by today's standards the conditions of such institution were harsh, the film depicts the Catholic nuns as particularly cruel, heartless women. We wonder what purpose is served by maligning the nuns who selflessly cared for troubled women at a time when society dismissed them as outcasts. The reality that such institutions were run by a variety of denominations, also leads one to question why the ire of the director, and the distributor, is aimed solely at Catholics
Catholic Civil Rights League president Thomas Langan stated:
"Until such time as a film is made depicting the egotistical brothers who co-own a Disney affiliated, anti-Catholic film house, we will join the US Catholic League's boycott of Miramax. We too are petitioning Disney's CEO Michael Eisner to act responsibly and dump this house of film disrepute. Let Miramax distribute what it wants, but not with the backing of the family friendly Disney.
"Disney sees fit to post on its website a 'Code of Conduct' to which its partners must comply. The code clearly offers a 'nondiscrimination' clause and also declares a "respect for the right of all individuals." Miramax however, has seen fit to consistently target Catholics in its films, which is an egregious violation of the Disney Code of Conduct. It is time for Disney to extend and enforce this code over its entire company. Dumping Miramax would fulfill this promise to shareholders."
The spokespersons from CAIR and AIM would go ape over that one. Disney would be forced to put it on the shelf and give a generous donation to a Islamic charity outfit whose funds would be funneled to a terrorist, er, freedom-fighter organization.
Foxman, et al., didn't criticize Gibson's movie as sacrilege .... heck, I've seen dozens of movies that made light of Jewish religious ceremonies and nobody bitched about that aspect of them .... Gibson's movie is being criticized because of fears it will provoke ethnic hatreds.
Nobody feared that 40 Days - 40 Nights , a rather pointless sex comedy, would do that much damage. And frankly Jewish organizations are hardly the authorities for what is or isn't an acceptably solemn view of Lent.