MILLER BOYCOTT ENDS; “GOLDEN COMPASS” OPENS

Catalyst December Issue 2007, Front Page

It took just over five weeks to get what we wanted from the Miller Brewing Company—an unqualified apology addressing all four of our concerns. Satisfied, we called the boycott off and put an end to the anti-Miller PR campaign as well.

On September 25, the Catholic League objected to a promotional piece for the September 30 Folsom Street Fair that featured the Miller logo on  an offensive Last Supper poster. The next day, Miller pulled the logo from the poster, but granted no apology. We got an apology on October 1, but it was incomplete: it didn’t address three other anti-Catholic aspects of the San Francisco event. So we continued our protest.

To be specific, we wanted Miller to apologize for the stripper and the man dressed as Jesus who were hoisted in cages over a Catholic church on a Sunday; the sale of religious symbols, e.g., crucifixes, as sex toys; and the mocking of nuns as carried out by the so-called Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The boycott, and the mailing of shocking photos of the event to Milwaukee leaders, would continue, we said, until we got what we wanted.

On October 31, Miller sent us a statement saying, “we are aware of other disrespectful activities, objects and groups associated with or present at the fair which, like the promotional poster, violate our marketing policies. We extend our original apology to include these unfortunate events and items as well.” Thus, the boycott and the anti-Miller PR campaign ended.

“The Golden Compass” opens December 7 and we hope it fails to meet studio expectations. Between our booklet, which sold over 20,000 copies, and the two months of extensive media coverage we were afforded, Christians across the country were given a consumer’s alert not to take the bait: the film may be innocuous but the books are not.

Writing in the December edition of The Atlantic Monthly, Hanna Rosin rightly called Philip Pullman’s books “antireligious” and “subversive.”

The lame defense of Pullman’s supporters—he really isn’t the atheist he says he is—is at once both dishonest and disrespectful. Wouldn’t he know better than anyone what his agenda is?

We did not neglect the role that Scholastic, the mega-publisher of elementary and secondary school materials, played in co-producing the movie. On November 13, Bill Donohue wrote to Scholastic CEO Richard Robinson asking him to pledge that in the event the other two volumes of Pullman’s trilogy come to the big screen, Scholastic will have nothing to do with them. He can be contacted at 557 Broadway, NY, NY 10012.


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Written by Bill