HOWARD REFUSES PLEA FOR DISCLAIMER

Catalyst June Issue 2006

Two weeks before the “Da Vinci Code” opened, director Ron Howard was quoted as saying there will be no disclaimer in the film.

Bill Donohue’s response was as follows:

“The book which the film is based on begins with three ‘facts,’ all of which are malicious lies, yet Ron Howard says no disclaimer is needed because ‘this is a work of fiction.’ He is disingenuous.”

Here is a list of the groups that got a disclaimer about a fictionalized TV show or film:

Asians:                          “Year of the Dragon”
Blacks:                          “Birth of the Nation”
Gays:                             “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”
Jews:                             “Merchant of Venice”
Mormons:                      “Big Love”
Muslims:                        “True Lies”
Native Americans:          “Pocahontas II”
Nearsighted:                   “Mr. Magoo”
Wolves:                          “White Fang”

“That’s right—even wolves merited a disclaimer: Disney put a disclaimer in ‘White Fang’ saying there is no evidence of a healthy pack of wolves attacking a human in North America. Forget about wolves, if Howard were as sensitive to Catholics as those responsible for ‘Life is Beautiful’ were to Jews, he would have acceded to our request to inject a disclaimer. That 1998 film—a dark comedy about the Holocaust—opened with a voice-over saying it is a fable. So is ‘The Da Vinci Code.’

“John Calley, a co-producer of ‘Da Vinci Code,’ has admitted that the film is anti-Catholic. As I said in our New York Times op-ed page ad on March 6, ‘if the film is remembered for the vicious lies it tells about Catholicism, it will not be John Calley’s reputation that will be sullied.’ Apparently, Ron Howard is more of a gambler than I thought. Had he done what other directors have done before him and put in a disclaimer, the risks to his reputation would have been minimal. Now it’s show time for Mr. Howard, and not just his movie.”


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Written by Bill