Police have been called to look into claims that theatre owners in Canada who were planning to show the pro-life movie Unplanned were given death threats.
There were threats against two independent movie theater owners in Canada, making them “fearful for their families,” according to B.J. McKelvie, president of Cinedicon, the company that distributed the movie about Abby Johnson, who used to work for Planned Parenthood and is now a pro-life activist.
It was said that yet another owner of a private theater was “harassed to the extreme.”
According to Chuck Konzelman, one of the film’s producers and directors, McKelvie asked that the company take down from their website their listing of the 46 Canadian cinemas that would be showing the movie on July 12 for reasons of safety.
It is said that the death threats are meant for the owners of the private theaters. “They failed to get anywhere regarding Cineplex or Landmark,” McKelvie said.
He said, “It’s too bad it’s come to that. It’s just a film. It’s clear that the subject is very important. But it’s just a story. They talk a lot about choice, but they don’t let people choose whether to go see the movie or not. Seems strange.”
Kelowna Capital News reports that threats were made on social media against theater workers in Shuswap, British Columbia. As a result, the movie’s showing had to be canceled.
After the threats were reported by the Salmar Theatres staff, Chris Papworth, a board member of the Salmar Community Association, revealed this week that the board decided to postpone the film’s planned five-day run, which was set to start on July 12 at the Salmar Classic.
“We have a history of showing things from different points of view… we try not to rule things out because of personal opinions on our board or anything like that,” Papworth said.
“What is different about this… “There has not been an attempt to dox employees or, more specifically, the general manager prior to this by posting personal information about them on social media and afterward encouraging folks to go after them because they’re the ones who did something horrible,” he said. “We aren’t ready for our general manager to be treated with that much hostility.”
The showing of Unplanned in Shuswap was made possible with help from people in the local Pro-Life Society.
Hildegard Krieg, spokesperson for the Pro-Life Society, stated, “I could understand if they were just coming out to protest while the movie was playing. But I can’t stand it when they actually threaten someone with violence against them and their family. That is not at all appropriate. A calm picket, okay, let’s go through it. That’s too far, though.”
Krieg said that the Pro-Life Society could have a private screening at the Classic as a backup plan.