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Arts and Culture

L.A. Film Fest Director Resigns Amid Prop. 8 Flap

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Posted on Nov 25, 2008
LA Film Fest

On Tuesday, Los Angeles Film Festival Director Richard Raddon officially resigned after being embroiled in a controversy over his support for the “Yes on 8” campaign to ban gay marriage in California. Raddon, a devout Mormon, released a statement that day explaining his decision.


For all the rumblings about a Cinemark boycott at Sundance or an El Coyote fatwa after the anti-gay Proposition 8 passed, one troubling scenario hit a little closer to home for a newly mobilized gay Hollywood. Almost two weeks ago, it came to light that LA Film Festival director Richard Raddon gave $1500 to the “Yes on 8” cause, a revelation that caused Raddon to tender his resignation to Film Independent. At the time, the board did not accept Raddon’s offer, though the move didn’t quite stem the debate over Raddon’s future and whether a potential boycott would devastate the festival when it returns next summer.

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By Nataloff, November 29, 2008 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s the point. Beliefs are protected but deeds are fair game.

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By g, November 29, 2008 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He should be allowed to have any political belief he wants without having to fear for his job.

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By Nataloff, November 28, 2008 at 9:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s an idea: treat people who supported Prop 8 on religious grounds exactly the way their religions treat gays: it’s okay to BE that way, just don’t ACT on it.

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By Little Brother, November 28, 2008 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

The article notes that some people in the film community were troubled by the idea of Raddon being sanctioned over a “free speech issue”.

This is an unfortunate, and too common, wrong-headed mischaracterization.  It’s predicated on confusion which attributes the sanctity of “free speech” to the CONTENT of speech—that is, it mistakenly applies the virtue of free speech itself as a panacea that somehow legitimizes the content of speech and immunizes it from criticism or negative consequences.

If Raddon contributed to a movement to restore miscegenation laws, based on a sincere and profound religious belief that the “races” should not “mingle”—which, incidentally, the LDS and other religious denominations DID openly profess at one time—should we be squeamish about publicly criticizing this position, and ostracizing him for such blatant racism merely because he is “free” to express such views?

The question is rhetorical; the answer is “no”.

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