Plans to screen a new feature documentary on men’s rights activism has been axed by a cinema in Melbourne, Australia, following a backlash.
‘The Red Pill’, directed by Cassie Jaye, was set to screen at the Kino Cinema next month, but feminist groups launched a petition, branding it a ‘misogynistic propaganda film’ and gathered 2000 signatures in opposition.
“Please do not associate your cinema with the kind of people who teach men how to violate women physically and emotionally,” said petition organiser Susie Smith.
“Please stand with the women everywhere, and do not promote misogynistic hate.”
The screening was to be a private one for cinema members, but a rep for Palace Cinemas said: “Much of the feedback that we have received assumes that the choice of film was our curatorial decision rather than that of the cinema hirer, which is potentially damaging to our credibility as we are yet to see the film so cannot stand by its contents in the face of the criticism we are receiving.
“It’s unfortunate that it has come to this, however we have come to a decision based on the overwhelmingly negative response we have received from our valued customers.”
The screening was set up by Men’s Rights Melbourne, which has opposed the campaign to have the screening axed and ‘stop extremists censoring what Australians are allowed to see’.
Organiser David Williams then launched his own petition to have the screening go ahead, which has so far received over 6000 signatures.
“I’m still hopeful that The Red Pill will find a courageous Australian cinema to support a screening of the documentary, and if that happens I believe that theatre will receive a lot of praise and support from the general public for standing up for free speech,” Jay told Guardian Australia.
The film follows Jaye as she meets men’s rights activists like A Voice For Men founder Paul Elam, who argue they have been smeared by feminist groups.
But the movie has been criticised for being unbalanced, coming out in favour of men’s activist groups which have been accused of encouraging violence towards women and exacerbating rape culture.
Jaye experienced problems getting the film funded in the first place, finding that there were little or no grants for such subject matter.
“We weren’t finding executive producers who wanted to take a balanced approach, we found people who wanted to make a feminist film,” she told Breitbart last year.
“I started to see the bias towards women’s films and against men’s. There are no categories for men’s films [when applying for grants], though there are several for women and minorities. I submitted the film to human rights categories, and was rejected by all of them.”