Catholic League president William Donohue wrote a letter today to Ron Howard, the director of the film version of The Da Vinci Code. The text of the letter appears below.
Dear Mr. Howard:
The upcoming film version of The Da Vinci Code is being greeted with much anticipation. As president of the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, I have a particular interest in how the movie might affect the public perception of Roman Catholicism. Moreover, radio and TV talk-show hosts have already asked me to comment on what the league plans to do upon release of the film. I have been cautious, saying it depends on how the movie is marketed.
To be specific, will it be sold as a work of fiction, or as an admixture of fact and fiction? If it’s the former, then that would relieve any concerns the Catholic League might have. If it is the latter, we may have a problem: in all likelihood, the film—if it is seen as an accurate account—would be used as fodder by anti-Catholics.
To this end, I am requesting that a disclaimer appear on the screen prior to the start of the movie indicating that the film is purely a work of fiction.
Thank you for your consideration.
William A. Donohue, Ph.D.