“Bad Santa,” a movie distributed by the Disney subsidiary Miramax, opens November 26. Louis Giovino, the league’s director of communications, attended a screening of the movie on November 19 in New York; Miramax acceded to the league’s request for an opportunity to preview it.
The following commentary, written by Catholic League president William Donohue, is based on Giovino’s report on the film:
“In a word association game, the mere mention of Santa to kids begets comments like ‘kind,’ ‘cheerful,’ and ‘loving.’ But the Santa in ‘Bad Santa’ is anything but: he is a chain-smoking, drunken, foul-mouthed, suicidal, sexual predator. He is shown soiling himself in Santa’s chair, vomiting in alleys, having sex with a woman bartender in a car, and performing anal sex on a huge woman in a dressing room. And his commentary in front of kids is replete with the ‘F-word.’
“This is a movie put out by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, directed by Terry Zwigoff and produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. Michael Eisner, Disney’s chief executive, is said to be disturbed by the movie. But we don’t believe him. Miramax has produced a slew of movies that thrash Christianity, and have blackened Disney’s Snow White image. Yet he does nothing about it. While this film is not blasphemous, per se, it is nonetheless offensive.
“It says something about our society that some movie reviewers welcome attacks on Christmas. For example, George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says, ‘The trailer shows this as an anti-holiday film and it could be the much-needed antidote to that good-will-to-man feeling that permeates the season.’ Thomas does not say why it is always a Christian holiday that deserves to be bashed, but it is not hard to figure out why.
“The movie will be a hit with college drop-outs, toilet-humor buffs and those who think like the Weinstein brothers.”