In the matter of just a few days, the cultural elites on both coasts suppressed the speech of the Catholic League.
First it was the New York artistic community that reacted with intolerance; then the Hollywood community got in the game. In both instances, the elites started by bashing Catholicism, and then resorted to censorship when we challenged them. Rarely has there been such an explosion of bigotry and hypocrisy on display within a matter of days. That all of it was uncoordinated made it all the more disturbing.
On September 27, the Catholic League held a press conference outside the Edward Tyler Nahem gallery in midtown Manhattan. We were there to protest an exhibit by Andres Serrano featuring “Piss Christ,” the infamous photo of a crucifix submerged in a jar of the artist’s urine. After addressing the media, Bill Donohue sought to see the exhibit but was stopped in the building’s lobby by gallery officials. He was the only person denied. His offense? They objected to the content of his remarks to the media.
The West Coast example involved two confrontations. In September, we learned that the cable TV channel, FX, was scheduled to air “American Horror Story: Asylum” on October 17. The entire series depicts a habit-wearing promiscuous nun who beats inmates in a home for the criminally insane; for good measure, a doctor tortures his patients in this evil Catholic institution.
Donohue decided to write a full-page ad critical of the series, seeking to place it in The Hollywood Reporter. We were led to believe that everything was fine, including our credit card info, but then we learned via an e-mail on October 1 that the ad had been rejected. Lynne Segall, the publisher, nixed it saying the ad’s message “was not appropriate.”
The next day, October 2, we contacted Variety. Once again, everything from the initial exchange to our credit card info was deemed just fine. But then we learned via an e-mail that the ad had been rejected because of its “mudslinging” title (“FX Trashes Nuns”). Donohue refused to amend it (Variety has run many stories with the word “trashes” in the title); thus the ad never ran.
We got the last word. On October 15, two radio stations in Los Angeles, KFI (it carries Rush Limbaugh) and KTLK (the favorite liberal station) ran several taped statements by Donohue that were critical of FX, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
It is not at all surprising that it was the elites in New York City and Los Angeles who waged war on Catholicism. It’s what they do.
We paid for the ads with funds raised from the October appeal.