Canadian film distributors have refused to bring the film “Unplanned” to their country, citing “content” concerns as the problem.
Movie Guide reports the film’s producers said they basically are being censored in Canada because of the film’s pro-life message. “Unplanned” follows the true story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who became pro-life after seeing an unborn baby die during an ultrasound-guided abortion.
“We have been effectively blocked from distributing the film in Canada,” producer Lisa Wheeler said during a recent press conference in Canada.
The filmmakers experienced obstacles in the U.S. as well. Despite a media blackout, an ‘R’ rating designed to discourage viewers and little publicity outside conservative media circles, “Unplanned” opened in fourth place during its first weekend at the box office. Overall, it has earned $18 million, according to the report.
Co-writer/director Chuck Konzelman said the film industry in Canada is just as liberal as in the U.S., and its leaders are blocking their efforts to show “Unplanned” there.
“Our project is essentially anathema to them, and they see excluding us from Canada as ‘positive good’… effectively enacting de facto censorship, without right of appeal,” Konzelman said. “The two largest distributors in Canada cited ‘content’ as the issue, ‘not lack of consumer demand.’”
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Johnson said she was not surprised to hear about getting the film in Canada.
“I have to wonder what they’re afraid of,” Johnson said. “I’m also deeply concerned that many people here have not been able to speak publicly, because they are concerned about punishment. That is not democracy; that is oppression.”
In the United States, producers said most major TV outlets refused to run their ads. Twitter also temporarily suspended the film’s account, and Google labeled the film “propaganda” when people searched for it online. The online giant later removed the label after complaints.