Bill Donohue and Harvey Weinstein have been locking horns for over two decades. The following is a summary of Weinstein’s Catholic-bashing films (it is taken from a previous news release). It is worth reading it again in light of recent news stories about his philandering.
We now know that Weinstein abused women even as he championed the cause of women’s rights. This appears to be consistent with his duplicitous personality: He condemned some expressions of bigotry (anti-Semitism) while contributing to other expressions (anti-Catholicism).
Donohue’s remarks were made on March 26, 2015. He was commenting on Weinstein’s statement condemning anti-Semitism at a Simon Wiesenthal Center awards dinner two days earlier:
“We’re gonna have to get as organized as the Mafia,” Weinstein said. “We just can’t take it anymore. We just can’t take these things. There’s gotta be a way to fight back.” He was given the Humanitarian Award by Christoph Waltz, who praised him for making movies that made Jews proud of their heritage.
I join Weinstein in condemning anti-Semitism. But before I am prepared to issue a joint statement with him, he needs to first condemn anti-Catholicism and pledge not to contribute to it again.
In 1995, Weinstein and his brother, Bob, offered us “Priest,” a film featuring nothing but miscreant priests. In 1998, they gave us “The Butcher Boy,” which starred Sinead O’Connor as a foul-mouthed Virgin Mary. In 1999, we were treated to “Dogma,” where the audience learned of a descendant of Mary and Joseph who works in an abortion clinic.
In 2002, they released “40 Days and 40 Nights,” a film that ridiculed a Catholic for giving up sex for Lent. Also opening in 2002 was “The Magdalene Sisters,” a movie that smeared nuns. In 2003, “Bad Santa” opened for the holidays; Santa was cast as a chain-smoking, drunken, foul-mouthed, suicidal, sexual predator. In 2006, “Black Christmas” made a predictably dark statement about the holiday.
In 2013, they released “Philomena,” a tale of malicious lies about Irish nuns and the Church (Harvey lobbied hard for an Oscar, but came up empty). In real life, Philomena Lee was a teenager who abandoned her out-of-wedlock son, and who, because of the good efforts of the nuns, was adopted by an American couple.
Anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism should both be condemned, without equivocation. Condemning one but not the other is irresponsible, though it is fashionable to do so.