Sunday, January 08, 2006

Utah Closet Case Cancels BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

A major Salt Lake City movie theater pulled the film "Brokeback Mountain" just HOURS before is was scheduled to open Friday night. This, of course, is a blatent example of bigotry, douchery, and motherfuckery. The manager of the theater "declined to comment", but Gayle Ruzicka, president of the conservative Utah Eagle Forum, said "not showing the film set an example for the people of Utah". She then hilariously added: "It's such a terrible show, and it is such a horrible message. I just think (pulling the show) tells the young people especially that maybe there is something wrong with this show." Stuff like this happens all the time in Utah. (SEE: THIS DIVIDED STATE OFFICIAL FILM SITE) But, seriously, I'm tired of it. I'm absolutely tired of it.


Larry Miller (Owner of Theater)

MEGAPLEX 17 at Jordan Commons

Direct: 801-579-3333
Telephone: 801-322-2000
Or try: (801) 304-4577
Ask for Cal Gunderson or John Langaker

Utah Eagle Forum
Gayle Ruzicka, President and Gay-Hater
Email: or
(801) 756-8033 (ask for Gayle)
(801) 756-2499 (ask for Gayle)


Other new movies with R-rated content - such as the marijuana-fueled comedy "Grandma's Boy" and the grisly horror movie "Hostel" - opened on schedule at the MegaPlex 17.


From Hollywood Elsewhere
: There's an IMDB posting claiming that when Miller was asked for comment during a news segment on Fox News 13, he said he wasn't up for comment or criticism, but added that "immorality is immorality, any way you look at it."

UPDATE: IN THE BULLPEN just ran a review of THIS DIVIDED STATE and, because of my BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN blogpost, compared me to the angry phone callers in the movie who said "Michael Moore should be executed". IN THE BULLPEN also called me out on the irony of me calling for the protest of Larry Miller and Jordon Commons theaters. Well, the difference is that the Anti-Moore people in THIS DIVIDED STATE wanted to PREVENT free speech. I, on the other hand want to ENCOURAGE free speech by allowing BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN to be shown. Which, by the way the theater had agreed to show through contracts with Focus Features. NOTE: I updated some info here. Chad wasn't comparing me to Kay Anderson. Thank God.

My favorite DAILY KOS quote: "Heath Ledger does to Jake Gyllenhal what Bush has been doing to the American people, but without spitting in his hand first."


Anonymous said...

And didn't the founders of the nation sanction violent revolution when rights such as free speech were being denied?

Anonymous said...

so um.... see it somplace that isn't the megaplex?

Steven Greenstreet said...

That's not the big issue here, anon. They pulled the movie HOURS before screening it. There were already people arriving to the theater to see it when it was cancelled. The Salt Lake Tribune article above has a few people interviewed that CALLED AHEAD, showed up, and BAM! Cancelled. It's the principle more than the movie.

Chad Evans said...

That's not what I said and I made no such comparison between you and Anderson. As I said in my email back to you, is it not the theater owner's right to show or not show whatever movie he feels will help his bottom line? He may have made a bad decision, but who are we to judge if showing the movie or not showing the movie will either benefit or hurt his business?

Anonymous said...

i don't see a huge issue here. the theater owners made a decision exercising their own freedom of speech. if they were obligated to show the movie by contract, then the issue is between the theater and the franchise or whatever and the people who bought tickets on fandango. i'm sure the theater owners would be glad to cough up contract fees for this stunt.

but as lame as that move is on the theater owners' part, just because you don't agree with someone's opinion doesn't make it a 1st amendment issue, which only protects against censorship by the government.

Gen. JC Christian, Patriot said...

Forgive me for being off topic, but Chad, you look able bodied. The military is looking for bright, gung-ho guys like you. Why aren't you fighting Islamofascism in Iraq.

Now, back on topic. You're in sports management. Do you do any business with the Jazz or any of Larry Miller's other businesses? If so, you might want to disclose that.

Apologies to Steven if I'm being too confrontational in his comments, but Chad's rather disingenuous comparison irritated me.

Anonymous said...

I am suprised it has not been banned in Texas first!

Gen. JC Christian, Patriot said...

One of my commenters said he saw it in Casper, WY. That surprised me.

Anonymous said...

Just when I think I will move back to Utah something like this happens and I remember why I left. The timing of the decision demonstrates a lack of foresight or a “flip-flop” (to use a favorite phrase of the Republicans) of those is charge. This seems similar to other last minute acts of paternalism like forbidding Marilyn Manson to open of NIN in ’94 and the cleanflicks-ification of the Rodin exhibit by BYU). If Larry H really was that afraid of gay cowboys why did he book the film in the first place? Or is he happy to make money off whatever he can until he realizes he might look bad?

Gen. JC Christian, Patriot said...

Just when I think I will move back to Utah something like this happens and I remember why I left.

I can't even imagine going back. I think an RM friend of mine said it best when we ran into each other while we were both doing grad work at GWU. He said he couldn't go back there because it's intellectually repressive.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the double standards of Utah. What a great place. Larry H has shot himself in the foot here. I think in banning the movie he's just given the movie more attention and hype. And so people, because no one likes to be told what they can and can't watch, will go to OTHER theaters to watch the movie. And he just looks like a huge ass.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be a devil's advocate, but I think that the theatre owner has a right to not show the movie or not.

But people against his action also have a right to judge his actions. Freedom of Speech works both ways. The issue I see is that, there are people who want the movie to be shown and there are people who want to see it, but there is a person or group who just doesn't want that movie to be seen, possibly because of the story it contains. They have every right to try and contact or voice their concerns with/about the theatre owner.

I do find some of Chad's comparisons to be like comparing apples and oranges, granted one takes place on a college campus and the other on a private theatre. In one scenario, there are people asking questions and forming opinions wanting something that didn't happen to happen, in another scenario there are two sides asking questions and forming opinions, but one side is also threatning legal action, embarassing another side, or doing whatever it takes to stop something from happening.

I just seen This Divided State this weekend, and the message Sean Hannity carried and the message Michael Moore carried were entirely different. Many people against Michael Moore claimed that his message carried nothing but lies and "hate" towards a certain group. Whose message to the students really carried the most lies and deceit to a certain group? Its something I feel that would be overlooked by the majority of people.

With the student body president listening to the voicemails, he didn't just press "delete all" without hearing every single one of them (I can't back this up). The observation Chad should really be making is that the same group are fighting for a voice to be heard. But maybe chad's right, black's fighting for civil rights in the 60's are no different than the other side who were trying to persecute, incriminate, and silence their voice. Perhaps actions are the same but the message is different.

Bottom line Chad, we CAN judge, because quite frankly, I'm American, don't know about you.

Prince Roy said...

General JC, that's also the main reason I could never go back to the Deep South.

Anonymous said...

The issue here isn't that of free speech, whether they have a right not to show it. It is the fact that they will not show a simple non-explicit gay love story, but they will show extremely violent movies like hostile the same weekend with no problem. And they think they know what values are. its the reason they wont show the movie that is the issue.

Peter said...


I don't feel the decision was motivated by the bottom line. Do you? I mean do you really? There is no way on earth it was motivated by the bottom line. This movie has been receiving solid reviews all across the nation.

The movie was pulled for its homosexual content, plain and simple. I don't see how this isn't obvious. Was "Hostel" pulled? No, it wasn't. Can you name me another R-rated movie that was scheduled to be shown in Utah and was pulled at the last minute as well?

I can. "Latter Days."

The theater signed contracts with the distributors of the film. The theater also publicly advertised its intent to show the film. When people saw the ad in the papers, they made plans and went out of their way to arrive at the theater at a specific time, expecting the theater to make good on its end of the bargain. But it was not to be so.

Take your Occam's Razor and scrape away all the peripheral justifications. What you'll find is that the theater cut the show for one reason and one reason only: homosexual content.

Does it have the right to do this? Sure.

And if I own and operate a public bus company, I can refuse service to blacks, Jews, homsexuals, Mormons -- hell, anyone I want! It's my right, isn't it!

No one would argue that I had the right to do so. But certainly no one would accuse me of being an enlightened individual, either.


Answer: Because the sentiments behind the nixing of the film are perceived by others as hateful, fundamentalist and ancient.


Anonymous said...

i'm with peter.

Art C. said...

Don't you need a passport or visa or something to go to Utah.

Peter said...

Ha ha. It's true that the people in Utah think they're running their own country. But for a limited time only you can still sneak across the border.

cowboy said...

Mormons are so much like the KKK. First, they forbid Blacks from having the Priesthood and then they become militant about gays having any respect (gay marriage, health benefits and now censoring gay art.) You couldn't find a better KKK resolve than with Mormons.

The racial/bigotry ebb within the LDS Church is still strong.

It has nothing to do with morality. Utah clearly is a very judgmental place to live.

Gen. JC Christian, Patriot said...

The racial/bigotry ebb within the LDS Church is still strong.

Gunn McKay was Utah's was 1st District Congessman until he was defeated in the Reagan Republic sweep of 1980. I worked on the '86 campaign to retake his seat.

One day, Gunn and I were having lunch with a couple of leaders from Ogdens black and hispanic communities. The black guy left to catch a plane. As soon as he was gone, Gunn said the following to the hispanic person (as best as I can remember):

I have more respect for you Mexicans than I have for the blacks. You save your money until you have enough for a business. Blacks get a little money and then they pool it together and buy a Cadillac.

I'm not kidding, and this guy was a Democrat. I've always considered that the perfect example of a Utah Mormon patriarch of a certain age. I imagine they're all dying off now. I hope they haven't passed those views down.

Peter said...


While certain Mormon doctrines (i.e. legislative) may seem as racist as the KKK, Mormon methods (i.e. executive) in dealing with what they consider social problems are quite different from the KKK.

I think the Mormon church, however racist it may be, is leaps and bounds ahead of the KKK -- particularly among the liberalizing younger generation.


Anonymous said...

All i have to say is how did a theater owner banning a movie from his theater lead to the Mormon church and the KKK? First of all, there should be no comparison between the two, they are in no way related. Second, because this guy lives in Utah, because his theater is in Utah (whatever connection you want to make here) it does not reflect the ideas or opinions of the Mormon church. This man has not done anything in the name of Mormonism, and if he had he has neither the position nor the authority to do so. Why is it that every time someone in Utah does something stupid people blame the church? Seperation between church and state needs to take on a very literal meaning in Utah. People, LDS people are not perfect, no one is. There should be no blame given to the LDS church because sometimes the people associated with it make bad decisions. Look beyond the mark, we have a man making a business decision. Let's leave the mormons out of it.

cowboy said...

To Peter:

Methodologies aside, ideology shared between Mormons and KKK make them racists.

The LDS Church forbad anyone from African-descent from being equals in their church. The LDS Church forbids gays from being equals in their church. That is racism and bigotry in its purest form. There was never a canonized explanation for why Blacks/Africans were denied the priesthood. Find me one sanctioned or authorized explanation from any doctrine of the Mormon Church where it is cited to withhold the priesthood from Blacks/Africans. (I’ll save you the trouble…you won’t find one.) So, that begs the question: Why? Why did the authorities (the “executive?” part of the church) withhold the keys of the Priesthood? It’s part of the heritage of the early Mormons. Racism. I’m still saying…it runs as an undercurrent in the Church today and will be there forever.

There may be younger Mormons who are more liberal in THEIR thinking about gays but overwhelmingly there are Mormons who are anti-gay. So anti-gay they resort to devious devices to make their ideology a dictatorial part of Utah life. For example: The censoring of gay art in any form or function at public galleries (too many to mention). The very Amendment 3 that was promised not to make have any injustices towards gays when, in fact, it did that very thing. The anti-gay marriage amendment. The near riot at Logan on the Utah State Campus during Gay Pride week. These examples occurred with full or implied sanction from the LDS Church authorities.

I don’t think there are enough young liberal-minded Mormons to make gays feel less threaten for their life, their liberty and their pursuit of happiness.

To Anonymous @ 12:01:

You say: “it does not reflect the ideas or opinions of the Mormon church.”

Bunk! (I don’t swear. But I needed a word that expressed my feeling between Oh-my-Heck and B.S.!)

The very tenants of Mr. Miller’s faith is what is dictated his reasoning to withdraw the movie from his mega-plexies. That’s the connection between Miller and the Mormon Church.

Peter said...


I agree with you. On every point. You don't need to lecture me. I admitted that the LDS church was racist. I'm seeing just how biggotted many of its members are more and more every day.

That's how the church socializes its members.

But when was the last time you saw a Mormon lynch a homosexual? Or cut someone's scrotum off?

All of those points you listed, hell, I agree with them. But the LDS church is not the fucking KKK. Far cry. Those points you listed do not a KKK make.


cowboy said...


I had to cross my legs when I read what you wrote.

Perhaps your memory needs a little tweaking. Do you remember a little incident with Matt Shepard in Wyoming. His murderer was a boy scout raised in the Mormon church. Awfully close to an example of a lynching by a Mormon isn't it?

What was taught by his "Elders" to make him justify in his mind that it was okay to kill a queer? I partly blame the fostering of anti-gay propaganda in the Mormon Church.

Should I give you examples of Mrs. Ruzicka saying that when a queer is murdered it is "justified because he deserved it because he was partly to blame". She's a Mormon of the nth degree isn't she?

Perhaps you're too young to remember a Judge (who is Mormon) who slapped the hand of killer of a queer who he shot in the head in a parking lot in Park City.

It's not a public showing of a body hanging from a limb of a tree but the "lynching" is carried out nevertheless.

Not that the Mormon Church would actively promote killing as the KKK does. Heavens! They're a church! But...