SCHOLASTIC PRESSED ON “THE GOLDEN COMPASS”; NO MORE VENTURES WITH PULLMAN SOUGHT

Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote the following letter to Scholastic Corporation CEO Richard Robinson; copies of the letter were also sent to all the bishops and school superintendents in the Catholic community. Here is the body of Donohue’s letter to Robinson:

As someone who spent 20 years in education, I am aware of Scholastic’s stellar reputation. This is all the more reason why I am profoundly disturbed by Scholastic’s role in co-producing “The Golden Compass.” It is not the movie, per se, that is the problem, it is the book—and the other volumes that comprise His Dark Materials—that is the issue.

The author of these books, Philip Pullman, does not disguise his hatred of Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church. Why, then, would Scholastic be associated with such bigotry? As pointed out in our booklet on “The Golden Compass,” producing such a movie would seem to violate Scholastic’s own Credo, one part of which says, “To help build a society free of prejudice and hate, and dedicated to the highest quality of life in community and nation.” Moreover, Scholastic professes a belief in “High moral and spiritual values,” something which surely sounds odd given the Pullman connection.

Christians need to be convinced that Scholastic will never again work with militant atheists who have an animus against their religion. Catholics, in particular, want to be certain that purchasing Scholastic materials does not indirectly fund campaigns against them. To this end, we look for Scholastic to pledge that in the event a movie version of Pullman’s other two books, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, is launched, it will have nothing to do with them. This would reassure Christians that the “Golden Compass” venture was an anomaly.

Contact Kyle Good, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Media Relations, kgood@scholastic.com


Written by Bill