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Hollywood's Heavy Hitters Battle Over Prop. 8 Boycotts

Hollywood's Heavy Hitters Battle Over Prop. 8 Boycotts

Hollywood’s liberal heavy-hitters are embroiled in a battle over how to handle the stripping away of lesbian and gay marriage rights in the aftermath of Prop. 8. Openly gay directors like Greg Araki and Bill Condon are at odds on whether or not to protest and boycott everyone and every business that donated to the Yes on 8 campaign.

Hollywood’s liberal heavy-hitters are embroiled in a battle over how to handle the stripping away of lesbian and gay marriage rights in the aftermath of Prop. 8. Openly gay directors like Greg Araki and Bill Condon are at odds on whether or not to protest and boycott everyone and every business that donated to the Yes on 8 campaign.

Word of potential boycotts have already affected the California Musical Theater in Sacramento, prompting its director Scott Eckern to resign once word got out about his contribution to Yes on 8. Theater artists including Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman were among activists who pressured Eckern to step down, The LA Times reported.

Meanwhile, a battle is roiling over whether or not gay filmmakers and activists should boycott Film Independent, a Los Angeles based non-profit that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards -- independent cinema’s precursor to the Oscars. Director of the L.A. Film Festival Richard Raddon, a Mormon, donated $1,500 to help overturn same-sex marriage in California.

Also on the chopping block is Cinemark because its Chief Executive Alan Stock donated $9,999 to Yes on 8, according to the LA Times. Cinemark owns one Sundance’s main screening theaters.

Mysterious Skin director and a leader in the New Queer Cinema movement in the early nineties, Araki said he won’t allow his films to screen at the LA Film Festival. Araki said of Raddon "I don't think he should be forcibly removed. The bottom line is if he contributed money to a hateful campaign against black people, or against Jewish people, or any other minority group, there would be much less excusing of him. The terrible irony is that he runs a film festival that is intended to promote tolerance and equality."

But another pioneer of New Queer Cinema, Swoon, Boys Don’t Cry and Far From Heaven producer Christine Vachon views the boycotts differently.  "I can't quite stomach the notion that you fire somebody because of what they believe. It doesn't feel right to me," said Vachon.

Dreamgirls’ director Condon calls those promoting boycotts and protests of Yes on 8 supporters the “off-with-his-head” crowd. He said there were people, including Raddon, “who saw Prop. 8 not as a civil rights issue but a religious one. That is their right,” Condon told the LA Times. “And it is not, in and of itself, proof of bigotry.”

 

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