Facebook’s rejection of promotions for a film debuting this weekend in theaters across the nation is “censorship pure and simple,” claims a producer of “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.”
Phelim McAleer told WND on Friday he believes Facebook and others “don’t want this film to succeed” because of the broader implications of the story of notorious Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted in 2011 of multiple counts of first-degree murder for late-term and after-birth abortions.
“The establishment hates that the truth is getting out there,” the Irish filmmaker said.
An attempt to promote the film and trailer through Facebook by paying to “boost” a post with a link to an article published by a mainstream Hollywood publication was denied because it constituted “political speech.”
Boosting an existing Facebook post makes it visible to a larger audience.
The film’s promoters provided WND with examples of many other posts about the movie that Facebook declined to boost.
The images were deemed acceptable for Facebook fan pages, the film’s promoters pointed out, but they were not allowed to be distributed further.
The Gosnell team contended it’s not necessarily the images that are being rejected but the copy and subject matter.
McAleer said Facebook contacted his team “with vague promises to investigate, but nothing has changed.”
Facebook’s press office has not replied to WND’s request for comment.
One post the filmmakers wanted to circulate further showed actor Dean Cain in a Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson discussing his part in “Gosnell” as a detective investigating the abortion doctor.
‘Ideological adherence’ required
It’s only the latest “in a long line of censorship that has come at this film,” McAleer told WND.
When the team decided to make the movie, it couldn’t find a studio in Hollywood that wanted to fund it, so it went directly to the public for crowdfunding. But the most prominent crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, rejected the request, saying it would offend their “community standards.”
In addition, NPR rejected an ad describing Gosnell as an “abortionist” and “abortion doctor,” even though the taxpayer-funded outlet’s own coverage of the subject uses the terms.
Also, as WND reported, a hotel under apparent pressure from Planned Parenthood canceled a screening of the movie.
McAleer noted Facebook’s rejection of a post with a photo of Cain, who is known for his dual role as Superman and Clark Kent in the TV series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”
“Well, it seems they don’t even like Superman,” McAleer told WND. “No one is safe from censorship at this rate.”
The movie’s executive producer, John Sullivan, in a column published exclusively by WND, wrote that “social media platforms have become information toll roads, but rather than accepting our coins for passage, the toll they require is ideological adherence.”
The Gosnell case developed after a routine investigation led detectives to his clinic, where they discovered his criminal abortion operation. The movie exposes the lack of attention the case received at the time and the issue of late-term abortion and infanticide.
“Gosnell” will open on 750 screens nationwide this weekend.
The film centers on Detective James “Woody” Wood, played by Cain, and his partner Det. Stark (Alfonzo Rachel) who work an informant network to identify a doctor who had been selling prescription drugs illegally.
See the trailer:
As the case unfolded, Wood and District Attorney Sarah Jane Morris were confronted not only by the horrors of the case but also fierce resistance from government and personal politics.
“Gosnell” is directed by Nick Searcy who starred in “The Shape of Water” and the critically acclaimed FX series “Justified.”