Film distributors in Canada have censored “Unplanned” from being screened in Canada, citing content rather than a lack of consumer demand as the reason for not carrying the film.
“We have been effectively blocked from distributing the film in Canada,” said ‘Unplanned’ producer Lisa Wheeler at a Canadian press conference.
The movie, which is based on the memoir of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood leader who eventually left the pro-choice movement, surprised Hollywood by earning the No. 4 spot at the weekend box office since opening in U.S. theaters March 29. The movie has grossed $18 million at the domestic box office. Filmmakers were hoping to replicate that success in Canada.
“What we’re seeing is that the film industry in Canada mirrors the film industry here in the United States, in terms of being more politically progressive, left-leaning and pro-choice than the population at large,” Chuck Konzelman, the movie’s co-writer/director told LifeSite News. “Our project is essentially anathema to them, and they see excluding us from Canada as ‘positive good.’”
According to Konzelman, Canadian law requires that films have distributors so that they can be shown theatrically. Without a distributor, a film cannot receive a rating from the film boards because the producers must list a distributor on the application forms.
Konzelman called it “de facto censorship, without right of appeal.”
Due to Canada’s censorship of “Unplanned,” the only way audiences in the country can see the movie is through individual sponsorship. Lead actress Ashely Bratcher even went to Canada to show “Unplanned” to members of Parliament in April; however, the censorship of the pro-life movie still remains.
“I would like to say I’m surprised, but I’m not,” Johnson said. “I have to wonder what they’re afraid of. 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.”
Photo: Courtesy of "Unplanned"