Following Tuesday’s disclosure that the director of a new movie released by one of the conglomerate’s studios is a convicted child molester, The Walt Disney Co. was still holding a powder keg Wednesday.
The studio declared that Powder, a teen fantasy by Victor Salva about a loner with supernatural abilities given by lightning, would be released nationwide on Friday. The only official word from Disney was that the PG-13 movie will be promoted as planned.
Disney was worried, a business insider told Reuters, since a “We don’t do witchhunts, we’re not the CIA, and we don’t do security clearances on people, he continued, adding that the controversy was overshadowing the “wonderful movie.”
People are evaluated here based on their talent. We don’t pass judgment on their private life. That is done by some lawyers and judges.”
Salva was found guilty in 1989 of engaging in oral sex with 12-year-old Nathan Forrest Winters while producing his debut movie, the slasher Clownhouse.
Winters, who is now 20 years old, brought Salva’s past back to life by staging a protest during the movie’s Los Angeles premiere on Monday. Salva, 37, finished his parole in 1992 after serving a 15-month sentence for the offense in a California state prison.
The Disney corporation’s latest public relations issue is Winters’ complaint regarding Salva.
If parents can’t trust the Walt Disney Co. for morally upstanding, family-friendly entertainment, who can they trust? According to critics, the studio is betraying its longstanding commitment to American families.
Earlier this year, Disney’s Miramax Films division came under fire for releasing Priest, a movie about a homosexual cleric, on Good Friday.
In August, Miramax received criticism for its ill-fated attempt to release the unrated movie Kids, which depicted youths in Manhattan engaging in violent sex and drug usage.
A G-rated, animated image from The Lion King drew criticism from a conservative watchdog group in September for what looked to be the letters S-E-X in a cloud of dust.
A pair of Disney film companies, Caravan Pictures, and Hollywood Pictures, collaborated in the production and release of Powder.
In retrospect, given the incident, only one moment in the movie might raise suspicions for watchdogs. It happens toward the end of the movie as Powder, an albino youngster observes a male student taking a sponge wash after gym class.
Although Powder is supposed to be appreciating the boy’s tanned skin, the slow-motion, somewhat homoerotic camera emphasis is on the young man’s damp body.
This critic gave the movie a D- after seeing it Monday night and had already written the critical review before Salva’s conviction was made public in Friday’s Weekend section.
Was Salva’s employment by Disney negligent once it discovered his criminal history midway through the production? Was the studio assisting in his recovery? Is Winters within his rights to blatantly hurt a convict who paid his obligation to society’s earning potential?
The only thing this reviewer can say with absolute certainty is that producing subpar movies is not an offense. Salva is blatantly negligent in this regard.
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