Letter to the Editor | Disappointed by Art Theater's decision

Letter to the Editor | Disappointed by Art Theater's decision

Two weeks ago, I wrote the executive director of the Art Theater and members of its board. I was deeply concerned to learn that the Art Theater decided to cancel a screening of Nina Paley's film "Seder Masochism" — not because of any controversial content in the film, but because the Art Theater did not approve of Paley's viewpoints on a socio/political issue.

If the Art were to dismiss films by all controversial directors whose social mores or political viewpoints the board didn't approve of, it might very well dismiss much emerging from Hollywood, which has been at the epicenter of the #MeToo movement.

Historically? The board would have had to turn down Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, etc., etc. Heck, it even would have had to ban all films by Walt Disney.

I realize that as a nonprofit, private enterprise, the Art Theater is under no legal obligation to adhere to the tenets of free speech. However, had I known about its decision to cancel the screening beforehand, I never would have contributed to their emergency fundraiser.

Having not received an acknowledgement of my concerns from the executive director or board, I certainly won't renew my membership.

Unlike the Art, the Virginia Theatre was willing to screen Paley's film.

Several hundred people showed up, and — believe it or not — not one was a protester.

ELIZABETH R. CARDMAN

Urbana

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