Cineplex Canada in ‘Unplanned’ quagmire

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10 July 2019 |Hannah Alberga| BlogTO

After the CEO of Cineplex published an open letter yesterday justifying his decision to screen Unplanned, a film that has been described as “anti-abortion propaganda,” a boycott Cineplex movement erupted.

Unplanned is a controversial film about Abby Johnston, a former Texas Planned Parenthood clinic director, who became an anti-abortion advocate.

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“Living in a country that censors content, opinions and points of view because they are different from our own is not a country that any of us would want to live in,” Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob wrote in the letter.

Those who support Cineplex are arguing that showing the film is endorsing the freedom to choose, rather than the ideologies the film promotes.

“It is up to each of us to decide whether we want to see it,” Jacob wrote.

Those who oppose the film are boycotting Cineplex because the corporation is profiting off of a movie that promotes the anti-choice movement.

“The fact that they are willing to make money off of something that is meant to oppress people is what bothers me,” Nici Shipway, who is organizing a protest against the film at Cineplex Yonge-Dundas this Friday, said.

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The danger of such a large-scale organization screening the film is that it runs the risk of “mainstreaming” and “legitimizing” anti-abortion rhetoric, Joyce Arthur, the executive director of Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, said.

Cineplex  warns that the film is “gory” and has disturbing content. The film has been criticized for “dangerously” depicting abortion “inaccurately.”

Imagine if this film was “promoting white supremacy,” Arthur said. Cineplex would never screen it.

“I don’t understand why racism and bigotry is off-limits, but not sexism,” she said.

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For those who oppose the film, Cineplex is partaking in spreading anti-abortion misinformation, even if they claim to be a neutral distributor. For those who support it, the screening embodies free speech.

Regardless of which side of the debate you fall, both groups could be at Cineplex Yonge-Dundas this Friday — some will protest, the others will watch the film.

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Original Link: Cineplex

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