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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Raddon Resigns

I don’t have the time to get into this in any detail, as I am about to catch a plane. And to quickly throw something up would be unfair. But I wanted to leave a space where people can discuss it if they like. And here it is…

22 Responses to “Raddon Resigns”

  1. DarienStyles says:

    He did the honourable thing. Proposition 8 was a bigoted law.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    Now hang on – for one thing, it’s not ‘was’, but rather ‘is'; and what does it mean ‘did the honorable thing’? Is he now expected to abstain from taking any new jobs as penance for his vote?

  3. Moveleft says:

    JEFFMCM, you need to “hang on.” Raddon is expected to NOT take a job with an organization that seems to conflict directly with his “devout Mormon” beliefs. An organization, I might add, that runs a film festival that attracts a sizable audience of the very people who are outraged at the passage of proposition 8 and those who supported it financially. He is expected to not try to get away with secret donations to support a ballot initiative that revokes existing civil rights to a specific group of tax paying Californians while also making the wholly hypocritical claim that he has “always” been a supporter “equal rights” for everyone. He’s a classic closet bigot and he got caught. I’m sick of him (and people like you) who talk out of both sides of their mouths and think the rest of us are too stupid to see what a bunch of phony hate-mongers you all are. The “I have nothing against gay people” but “I want to protect traditional marriage” crowd are either completely delusional or actually believe their own lies. Either way, they are not people I plan to support in any way, shape or form with my hard earned dollars. After all, I’m sure they wouldn’t want to ruin their cherished traditions by accepting my dirty, tainted gay money. So, to help them adhere to their warped Biblical cherry picking, I won’t eat at their restaurants, see movies at their theaters, patronize their law practices or attend their film festivals. They hit me where it hurts and my retaliation is to hit them in their wallets. It is a weapon I will wield proudly and ruthlessly. There are millions of other Californians like me who have had enough and we plan on fighting back any way we can. Raddon CHOSE to donate to support prop. 8 and his own statements proved he knew he was treading on thin ice when he did so. He practically admitted he had hoped to keep the donation from going public. So, you make your choices and now you live with the consequences. Do I feel pity for any of his ilk? No way. He can always find another job. Ask a gay couple who were planning on getting married how they feel right now. Thanks to people like Raddon, they have one less “choice” to make in their own private lives. Shame on all of you who supported proposition 8 and are now getting upset because the choice you made is coming back to haunt you.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    I think your response is rather hyperbolic and a little unreasonable, and I’d like to ask you to calm down a little. This specific issue (the resignation) is more complicated and troubling than you’re allowing for.

  5. Moveleft says:

    Well clearly you are the smart one and I’m just one of those angry, irrational gay folks. Enlighten me. Tell my why I am being “unreasonable” when I write a literate response to your post. The only reason you didn’t like what I wrote is because you don’t agree with it and you got called to the mat. I make no apologies for my feelings and nothing I wrote is remotely worthy of your response. Yes, I know how to construct an effective paragraph and have a grasp of the written word. Here’s an idea: why don’t you try the same tactic. If Raddon’s resignation is such a “complicated” and “troubling” issue (which I don’t agree it is) then perhaps you should try making your case with something other than snide, one sentence snippets. Let’s hear your side of the story. Lay out your brilliant case. I’m sure it will be rich with the same tepid, lame excuses the pro prop 8 camp has been making since the election. One other thing, you are not my parent, authority figure or a person I know and respect. Until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, please do not presume to be in a position to ask me (or anyone else directly impacted by the passage of proposition 8) to “calm down.” That option is off the table.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    “why don’t you try the same tactic”
    Because you are obviously not interested in listening to me. I’m a very strong opponent of 8, I have gay roommates and friends, and I don’t appreciate your belligerent, condescending attitude.
    My question is simply, where is the dividing line between ‘inappropriate for someone to lose their job’ and ‘totally appropriate’. By every account I’ve seen, Raddon was a nice guy whose religious beliefs never affected how he did his job until now. Maybe he’s an ass who nobody can trust anymore in his position, maybe he’s not. I don’t know. Do you?

  7. Moveleft says:

    When you try to argue a point without actually making a point or having a grasp of the facts, you might want to gird yourself for a strong response. Sometimes condescension is deserved and, honestly, you should look up the word “belligerent” before you start tossing it around. While I’m hoot and holler happy that you have many gay friends (it’s the new “some of my best friends are black” so you’re up with the trends), I think you are missing the point here. If you are indeed as anti-prop 8 as you claim, there is nothing complex or troubling about Raddon’s resignation. He DID NOT lose his job. He chose to resign. He was not forced to do so. In fact, the board of Film Independent refused to accept his resignation the first time he submitted it and only reluctantly agreed to it when he insisted. The only thing I find troubling is the board’s initial refusal and eventual reluctance to accept the resignation. That’s the real head scratcher here. Raddon resigned because he knew his CHOICE to support prop. 8 financially would present a huge PR nightmare for the LA Film Festival. In all likelihood, if he remained on the job the festival would be overrun by protests and probably experience a serious backlash from both the filmmaking community and the festival audience. Maybe he is a nice guy and maybe he did a bang-up job but none of that matters here. Point of fact, he screwed up. Big time. You are also wrong when you state his religious beliefs never affected how he did his job. Were that true, we would not be enjoying this little back and forth. He made a significant financial contribution to support prop. 8 at the behest of the Mormon Church. He made the contribution knowing it might not sit well with those who attend the LA Film Festival and the greater artistic community. Yet, he did it anyway. Why? Because his Mormon religious convictions compelled him to do so. If that isn’t letting your religion get in the way of your job, I don’t know what is. Raddon made an inappropriate personal choice based on his religion and, given the nature of his work, he put his job in jeopardy as a result. End of story. See if this gives you some perspective. Say it was disclosed that the head of Greenpeace made a large donation to a ballot initiative that would allow whaling off the coast of California. The reason why he or she chose to do so is not important. Should he or she remain in their job? Of course not. It would be in direct conflict with their position and the organization they represent. Yes, it’s a free country but sometimes your personal or religious choices will have consequences if they get in the way of your job. If, indeed, Raddon is as devout a Mormon as he seems to be, then he should look for work somewhere where these kinds of conflicts of interest will not be a problem for him in the future. I am all for protecting the anonymity of the secret ballot but that is not what we are talking about here. When you make a donation to a ballot initiative or candidate not only does that mean you are a passionate supporter but, thanks to our campaign finance laws, it also makes your passionate support very public and internet searchable. Raddon got caught and he did the responsible thing by resigning. Nothing complex or troubling about that.

  8. BrandonS says:

    Moveleft: “See if this gives you some perspective. Say it was disclosed that the head of Greenpeace made a large donation to a ballot initiative that would allow whaling off the coast of California.”
    That comparison would only be valid if the stated purpose of LAFF was to promote gay marriage, or if Rich Raddon had been working for the “No on 8″ campaign. Yes, LAFF serves the gay community, but not exclusively. I assume there’s something in its mission statement about promoting diversity, but would that not include political and religious diversity as well as race, gender, and sexual orientation? Could that possibly have factored into LAFF’s reluctance to accept Raddon’s resignation?
    I know you want this to be cut and dried, but it just isn’t. Also, jeffmcm is most definitely as anti-prop-8 as he claims to be. Is this the first time you’ve checked in on this issue on these boards? Hurling invective at those on your side for not being as militant as you are on a single issue is probably not the best tactic.

  9. mysteryperfecta says:

    jeff (aka phony hatemonger)-
    If I’m reading you correctly, are you asking more generally about where the line is? Contrary to the opinion of others, I see degrees of separation between Raddon’s occupation and his stance on Prop 8, making Moveleft’s ‘Greenpeace’ analogy a tenuous one. Should Raddon leave the entire gay-friendly film industry? What about even living in gay-friendly LA? Can he be rightfully denied service at certain retailers? Should he move to Modesto? How about issuing an arm-patch with an upside-down rainbow, to let EVERYONE know that he hates gays? Can we work back from that extreme and draw some kind of line?

  10. mysteryperfecta says:

    “I assume there’s something in its mission statement about promoting diversity, but would that not include political and religious diversity as well as race, gender, and sexual orientation?”
    This made me laugh, because it should be a declarative statement, and not a question. You’re basically asking, “Doesn’t diversity=diversity?

  11. BrandonS says:

    Are you saying I favor rhetorical questions as a means of discourse? Are they not more useful than simple declarative statements? Do they not imply that you should perhaps challenge your assumptions? Overly influenced by Yoda perhaps I am? Killed the joke already, have I?

  12. yancyskancy says:

    Does anyone know if Dustin Lance Black, the gay Mormon screenwriter of Milk, has weighed in on the Raddon controversy?

  13. jeffmcm says:

    See, this is the problem that I have with zealots of any stripe – there’s no room for any shade of gray or the ability to have an honest, open dialogue free from hundreds-words-long monologue rants.
    Let me put it this way: I would really hate it if my $50 dollar contribution to ‘No on 8′ got me fired from my job. Obviously that would only happen if (a) I had made a large enough donation to show up on the public lists, and (b) if my job was, say, in the PR department at Focus on the Family or accountant for the Mormon Church.
    So basically this is my take on things: It is not appropriate for Raddon to get fired, because that would have been blatant discrimination (regardless of whether you agree with the stance or not – just as matter of legal principle). But I do think that it seems to be appropriate for him to have resigned, based on my understanding of his job – since the film industry, and the film festival world especially, is built on personal relationships, his position was no longer tenable because too many people would no longer do business with him. And that seems like a basic industry hazard.
    But also – and this is the point I was originally making before the eruption happened – I don’t see anything ‘honorable’ about that decision, I just think it’s sad and unfortunate for everyone involved. ‘Tragic’ would be the word. And the question I ask is, how far does his ‘punishment’ rightfully extend, as Mysteryperfect asks? (Although Mystery, ‘gay-friendly LA – at least, Los Angeles County – voted very narrowly ‘Yes’ on 8).
    I guess what it comes down to for me – and this will probably make me seem condescending in a different way – is that the people who donated to ‘Yes on 8′ are more to be pitied than loathed.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    PS: Moveleft, we agree on 90% of this issue, and I look forward to your apology for calling me a ‘phony hate-monger’ at your earliest convenience. Thanks.

  15. DarienStyles says:

    Thank you for correcting my grammar mistake. Mr. Raddon made his own choice and now he has to deal with the consequences. The gay community and its supporters are entitled to boycott institutions that have voted and donated for a law that “is” anti-gay.

  16. DarienStyles says:

    Thank you for correcting my grammar mistake. Mr. Raddon made his own choice and now he has to deal with how people will perceive it. The gay community and its supporters are entitled to boycott institutions that have voted and donated for a law that “is” anti-gay.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, but, why is it ‘honorable’ for a man who never had a problem in his job prior to this (as far as I know) to take this action; especially since FIND is not an institution that donated to the pro-Prop 8 side?

  18. Deathtongue_Groupie says:

    Had he just donated $100, he might have skated. But unless you make something like $200K or higher, $1500 is a lot of clams to throw down and try to claim “Well, someone from my church called and asked for it, so I did it without really thinking.”
    Considering that it was the Yes on h8 side that first floated the whole idea of using donation lists to smear and boycott, Raddon ironically got nailed when the No on 8 decided to take a move from their playbook.
    As Greg Araki pointed out, had he given to a Klan rally or anti-Semantic group this would not even be discussed.
    The end game is very simple: you don’t vote on human rights. If your religion isn’t for it, then don’t have one. But your fucking right to be a bigot ends at your front fucking door.
    Not that it matters, but I’m a straight guy, but this thing even being debated in the 21st Century really pisses me off and offends my sense of justice, equality and freedom.

  19. christian says:

    Then why is it okay for Obama and Biden to be opposed to gay marriage? Me no understand.

  20. BrandonS says:

    A bit of fact-checking on you here, Mr. tongue_Groupie:
    “Had he just donated $100, he might have skated.”
    Tell that to the employees of the El Coyote restaurant, whose jobs are all in jeopardy because of their manager’s $100 donation. It ain’t the amount, it’s the position.
    “Considering that it was the Yes on h8 side that first floated the whole idea of using donation lists to smear and boycott…”
    Honestly not sure about who shot that bullet first – Californians Against Hate’s “Dishonor Roll” pre-dated the election, too. I know the “Yes on 8″ letter you’re talking about, and I agree it was a slimy tactic. But here are the two differences:
    1) The letter (which you can find online) was addressed to a total of five major corporate contributors, not individual, personal donors of amounts as low as $100.
    2) When somebody called the idiots on their stupid, heavy-handed and ultimately counterproductive letter, “Yes on 8″ backed off. The veiled threat of a boycott isn’t the same thing as actually boycotting (or forcing resignations).
    Bad, bad, bad move from Yes on 8. But also consider, Rich Raddon’s donation was made on Sep.7th (I just now looked it up), well before Yes on 8’s letter was sent. Who are you to say he approved of that particular tactic? Not seeing the delicious irony here.
    “As Greg Araki pointed out, had he given to a Klan rally or anti-Semantic group this would not even be discussed.”
    I don’t think you really want to invoke the Klan in this debate, unless you’d really like to delve into which side is burning religious icons, vandalizing churches, and running the undesirables out of town (happy to source any of this if you need it).
    Wait, I’m totally seeing the irony now…

  21. BrandonS says:

    See, this is my problem with the general tone of the Prop 8 aftermath.
    I’ve tried to be measured, fair, thoughtful, or at least non-baiting in my comments on this topic. Then somebody throws out “Klan rally” comparisons and I try to throw it right back.
    For the record, I don’t think anybody’s considering manufacturing rainbow-colored pointy hoods. But when the name-calling devolves to the level of the KKK and/or Nazis (the most popular default boogeymen, narrowly beating out Neville Chamberlain), you (and now I) are only losing the reasonable people in the middle.
    You think you can get your way without convincing the conflicted? Good luck.

  22. On a different path, but still related to Prop 8, I’ve been absent for a week (moving house and not having any internet is frustrating, no?) and don’t know if anybody’s mentioned it, but Sundance’s opening night film is Mary & Max… which is directed by the openly gay Adam Elliot. So openly gay, in fact, that he thanked his male partner upon accepting his Oscar and was asked backstage why he would very nearly sabotage his career (!!!) by doing so.

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