The following comes from an Apr. 7 op-ed piece by Phelim McAleer in the New York Post.
I was really, really happy when Kickstarter came on the scene. The crowd-funding Web site offered the opportunity for struggling artists and filmmakers to bypass corporate, union or not-for-profit funders and their agendas and interests.
Kickstarter was set up to allow us to put up a pitch — go directly to the public; if people liked it, they could fund it with small donations.
And it worked like a dream. For my last film, the pro-fracking documentary FrackNation, 3,305 people gave $212,000 to make it happen.
But now it seems that Kickstarter is turning into a bad dream for those who want to wander from the orthodox.
Now, Kickstarter has always been dominated by projects with liberal, environmental and even ultra-left-wing leanings. That’s no surprise — the arts are dominated by people with such views.
But Kickstarter promised to be different. Its founder and CEO, Yancey Strickler, was quite clear on this, for example telling viewers of CBS’ “This Morning” that the site is a center for “very diverse ideas.”
So when I had the idea of making a film about the life and crimes of Kermit Gosnell, the now-notorious Philadelphia abortion doctor, my first idea was to go to Kickstarter — since there was no point going to Hollywood or any establishment media outlet.
Gosnell was a Philadelphia abortionist who for decades took babies who’d already been born and stabbed them in the neck and cut their spinal cords. He probably killed thousands of infants during his 40-year killing spree.
In the words of ABC correspondent Terry Moran, Kermit Gosnell was “America’s most successful serial killer.”
I’ve only been in America a few years, but one thing I’ve learned is that Americans are fascinated by killers and serial killers. You see it every night on prime-time TV — “Law & Order,” “Criminal Minds,” “Dexter,” “The Following,” “CSI” and “The Mentalist.” And that’s not including the TV movies — three on Ted Bundy, four apiece for John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer, three on Gary Ridgway and five on the Zodiac Killer.
So a film about Gosnell seemed like an obvious idea that Hollywood was neglecting.
Of course, the reason for this neglect was pretty clear: This serial killer was an abortionist who was completely unregulated. His trial threw up ugly realities about abortion that changed the minds of several jurors, a liberal journalist at the trial and even Gosnell’s defense attorney. Hollywood, with its Planned Parenthood fund-raisers, would want to stay away from this case.
But Kickstarter was supposed to change all that. So my colleagues and I put the project up and waited.
And waited and waited.
Then Kickstarter wrote to tell us that it “couldn’t” go ahead with our posting — first, we needed to remove our (utterly factual) descriptions of “thousands of babies murdered” in order to “comply with the spirit” of the site’s “community guidelines.”
This was shocking — and even more so when I looked at which projects don’t violate those standards.
One project about a serial killer had a photograph of a dead body. There were 43 about rape, 28 with the F-word in the title or project description and one with the “C” word. There was even one called “Fist of Jesus” (don’t ask).
It seems the Kickstarter “community guidelines” don’t respect traditional sentiments — indeed, those are the ones that raise red flags.
Appalled by the double standard, we immediately pulled our project from Kickstarter and put it up on the rival site Indiegogo. The next day, after getting media inquiries about its censorship, the Kickstarter folks sent us a non-acceptance “acceptance” that noted pointedly that they reserved the right to take our project down at any time if our updates upset them. No, thanks.
It’s clear that “community guidelines” are just a cover to allow the Kickstarter insiders to censor and ban opinions they don’t like. So much for Strickler’s “very diverse ideas” claim: The first time they actually encountered a truly different viewpoint, their instinct was to censor and threaten.
Over at Indiegogo, our Gosnell movie project is on track to becoming the site’s most successful movie project ever. Kickstarter is missing out on that excitement, and on significant revenue. Worst of all, it’s missing out on bringing its community some challenging ideas.
Phelim McAleer’s latest project can be found at GosnellMovie.com
To read the original story, click here.