Muse Reporting on the arts and culture

The Gosnell code of silence persists

Gosnell Trial | Hotel cancels screening of pro-life movie
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/05/18, 04:13 pm

The makers of Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer knew exactly what they were doing when they planned a screening of their film in Austin, Texas, for the same night and location as a high-dollar Planned Parenthood fundraiser. Showing the movie about the horrors of abortion next door to an event featuring Cecile Richards, the newly retired president of Planned Parenthood, was “actually quite perfect,” producer Ann McElhinney told me.

“People could make a choice,” she said. “They could go to a $400 dinner celebrating Cecile Richards’ achievements, or they could go to our movie, which tells another story about the achievements of the movement that she’s part of.”

But people didn’t get that choice after all, because the Hyatt hotel in Austin pulled the plug on the Gosnell screening the Monday before the event, which was scheduled for last Saturday. The Hyatt cited security concerns as the reason for the cancellation and paid the filmmakers $1,000 as compensation, McElhinney said. Her co-producer and husband, Phelim MacAleer, called the payment “blood money” but said he would use it to buy tickets for 100 people to see the film, which comes out next Friday.

“They chose Planned Parenthood over us, and then used this bogus security concerns excuse, which is really pathetic,” McElhinney said.

The Gosnell movie and the story it tells have struggled from the beginning to get the attention they deserve. Gosnell was convicted in 2013 of three counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The trial included horrifying witness testimony from members of his staff who saw newborn babies move, breathe, and cry before Gosnell snipped their spinal cords with scissors.

When mainstream media ignored the 2013 trial, pro-lifers were disappointed. When Kickstarter shuttered the Gosnell movie’s initial crowdfunding campaign, it was frustrating. When no entertainment companies would agree to distribute the movie, it was discouraging. Now that the Hyatt in Austin has joined in, it’s starting to feel like the media, Hollywood, and secular culture have an omertà against the truth about what happened in Gosnell’s abortion center, which prosecutors called a “house of horrors.”

“It’s taken a very long time, and it’s been very, very hard, and we’re not over all our difficulties yet,” McElhinney said. But she and MacAleer forge ahead. The movie’s premiere is scheduled for Tuesday at the historic, 1,400-seat Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, Calif., and it will hit 750 screens across the country three days later.

Disney/Walden Disney/Walden A scene from the 2005 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Narnia on demand

Not to be outdone by Amazon, which is working on a TV adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, Netflix announced plans this week for a series based on The Chronicles of Narnia. The streaming company acquired the rights to all seven of C.S. Lewis’ children’s fantasy novels with the help of Mark Gordon, an executive with Hollywood studio eOne, who was working on the fourth installment in the series of Narnia feature films that kicked off in 2005. Gordon and others decided the stories from the world of Narnia would work better on Netflix as a collection of films and series rather than theatrically released movies, Deadline reported.

Parents who want high-quality family content are still a little cross with Netflix for the postmodern liberties that the series Anne with an E took with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, produced by Moira Walley-Beckett, whose prior credits included Breaking Bad. Can Narnia fans, who include generations of Christian families, count on Netflix to do right by Aslan? It helps that the producers include two veterans of 2005’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Doug Gresham, Lewis’ surviving stepson.

“It is wonderful to know that folks from all over are looking forward to seeing more of Narnia, and that the advances in production and distribution technology have made it possible for us to make Narnian adventures come to life all over the world,” Gresham said. “Netflix seems to be the very best medium with which to achieve this aim, and I am looking forward to working with them towards this goal.” —L.L.

Associated Press/Photo by Fredrik Sandberg Associated Press/Photo by Fredrik Sandberg Jean-Claude Arnault


The man who caused a scandal leading to the cancellation of the Nobel Prize for literature this year was convicted of rape and sentenced to two years in prison this week in Sweden. Jean-Claude Arnault, a French photographer, member of the Swedish glitterati, and husband to Nobel literature committee member Katrina Frostenson, attained Weinstein-esque infamy in Sweden last year when a newspaper published sex abuse accusations against him from 18 women.

The Swedish Academy, which awards the literature Nobel, investigated and found sexual assault had occurred within its ranks. Seven members of the academy, including its first female leader, resigned, and Arnault was arrested on charges he raped a woman in 2011.

In the wake of the scandal, the Swedish Academy said it would not award a Nobel Prize in literature this year but would give two in 2019. Now even that prospect is in jeopardy. Lars Heikensten, the head of the Nobel Foundation, has warned that if the Swedish Academy does not resolve its tarnished image, his agency could grant the selection rights to another group. He even suggested there could be no Nobel Literature Prize awarded in 2019, either. —L.L.

Soccer star accused of rape

Soccer superstar and Portuguese national hero Cristiano Ronaldo was cut from the national team this week after a woman sued him for allegedly raping her in 2009. The lawsuit, reported Monday, claims the sexual assault happened in Las Vegas after Ronaldo invited some people to his hotel room.

Portugal’s national team said Ronaldo won’t appear at two matches scheduled this month, though coaches expect him to play for his country again at some point. He is still slated to play for the professional Italian team Juventus.

Ronaldo’s accuser reported the allegations to the police at the time of the alleged assault but did not identify him as her attacker. She has now asked Las Vegas police to reopen the investigation, and police confirmed this week they had done so. —L.L.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • JerryM
    Posted: Sat, 10/06/2018 11:30 pm

    Pray for the Gosnell movie, that its message is heard far and wide.