In today’s New York Post, there is an article on the upcoming movie, “Dogma,” that says the film’s distributor, Miramax, and its parent company, Disney, are “wringing their hands” over the fate of this Kevin Smith-produced film. Their wariness is a reflection of the expected response that the movie will receive from the Catholic League. In 1995, the Catholic League was the first organization in the nation to call for a boycott of Disney; this was a result of the Miramax-distributed movie, “Priest.”
According to Premiere magazine, Miramax is so worried that it is even considering selling “Dogma” to another distributor. The movie stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and other Hollywood stars. The plot is an irreverent look at Catholicism, one that maintains that Mary and Joseph had sexual relations; Mary gives birth to a daughter who works in an abortion clinic. God (played by Alanis Morissette) and the apostles (a foul-mouthed 13th is introduced) are also subjected to director Smith’s brand of humor.
The Catholic League’s position was stated by its president, William Donohue:
“If Michael Eisner is worried how the Catholic League will react, he ought to be. Last July, I wrote to Mr. Eisner requesting a meeting with him over the movie, ‘Dogma.’ I explicitly said, ‘Perhaps it is not too late for something to be done about this.’ He never responded.
“In December, Playboy commented on ‘Dogma’ by saying, ‘If members of the Catholic League don’t picket this one, they’re comatose.’ And in today’s New York Post, we have Independent Film Channel host John Pierson stating, ‘The Catholic League probably will have a problem.’
“If the movie is anything like it is shaping up to be, Mr. Eisner will surely regret not having engaged the Catholic League in dialogue. And if some other producer is dumb enough to pick it up, we’ll deal with them.”