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L.A. Film Fest Director Raddon Resigns Over Prop 8 Donation

Los Angeles Film Festival director Richard Raddon, a "devout" Mormon, has resigned from his position following revelations that he donated $1,500 to the campaign to write discrimination into California's constitution, Variety reports:

Raddon"After bloggers published his name, culled from public records of donors, Raddon tendered his first resignation on Nov. 13 to Film Independent's board of directors. It was not accepted, and Film Independent released a statement saying, 'Our organization does not police the personal, religious or political choices of any employee, member or filmmaker.' Yet Internet message boards and other published reports kept the issue at the center of a growing protest movement that has targeted 'Yes on 8' donors including the Mormon Church and Cinemark Theaters, whose CEO was a contributor. On Monday, Raddon submitted a second resignation. Those close to the org described Monday's conference call with the board of directors as emotional. While Raddon's contribution had caused some internal angst, he was well liked within the org. On Tuesday, Film Independent issued a statement saying, 'With great reluctance, Film Independent has accepted Richard Raddon's resignation. Rich's service to the independent film community and to Film Independent has been nothing less than extraordinary. He has always shown complete commitment to our core principles of equality and diversity during his long tenure.'"

A replacement for this bigot has not been named.

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Comments

  1. YAY!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 26, 2008 10:36:50 AM


  2. "A replacement for this bigot has not been named."

    Once again Andy you show yourselves to be as big of a bigot if not more so. People should not have to be worried about losing their jobs because of the political beliefs. But anyone who doesn't think just like you about every topic should be silence. Once again - you show how little you understand about freedom.

    Posted by: yoshi | Nov 26, 2008 10:41:29 AM


  3. "He has always shown complete commitment to our core principles of equality and diversity during his long tenure."-- Hmmmm.... Uh....

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 26, 2008 10:43:55 AM


  4. I'm sure this will be posted all over the conservative blogs as another 'witch hunt' by those radical gays. And it's sad that one must lose his/her job...but support of bigotry and prejudice cannot be tolerated. If this man had been found supporting the KKK or a Nazi-sympathist organization his resignation would be expected. I feel supporting the Mormon church or other anti-gay organizations is no different.

    Posted by: JSH | Nov 26, 2008 10:50:54 AM


  5. I've read all kinds of articles talking about the "radical gay" community taking "revenge" and doing "witch hunts", etc. etc. etc. But, the bottom line with all this is:

    What would have happened if it come out that someone had donated money to the KKK or some other ridiculous hateful organization - they would be immediately ridiculed.

    It all goes back to the fact that it apparently is "acceptable" to the people who write these articles to discriminate. They are just as despicable as the folks who donated the $$$. The FI Board of Directors should have accepted his first resignation. What were they thinking???

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 26, 2008 10:51:07 AM


  6. 'He has always shown complete commitment to our core principles of equality and diversity during his long tenure.'

    Except in his personal life where he allowed his religion to overrule his sanity and vote
    for a vile and bigoted proposition. What a scumbag. Same goes for Bill Condon who keeps defending this asshole. Religion has become such a hateful thing.....

    Posted by: Bandit | Nov 26, 2008 10:51:32 AM


  7. this whole 'people resigning/feeling forced to resign' is a little too McCarthyist for me. Yeah, the guy sucks for being an ignorant bigot, but although i may not respect him, i have to respect his right to donate HIS money to something he believes in. If it was the other way around - if the head of a traditionally conservative organization had donated money to NO on 8, and then been 'asked to resign' by his peers - we would be completely up in arms about the injustice, and rightfully so.

    I don't know, its all a bit unsettling.

    Posted by: lindsay | Nov 26, 2008 10:53:25 AM


  8. These are trying times for YOSHI, the bitter Republican. Let us pray.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Nov 26, 2008 10:54:52 AM


  9. You really don't get it, Yoshi. He didn't lose his job because of his political beliefs. He quit his job because he realized that now that people know he is a bigot, they don't want to do business with him anymore. It's like this hardware store near my house. Once I overheard the owner using the N word, I decided I didn't want to do my business there anymore. The owner is entitled to whatever belief he wants, but he isn't entitled to my business. Nor is Raddon when it comes to the business of fair-minded people in the film industry.

    Posted by: Christopher, Louisville, KY | Nov 26, 2008 10:55:07 AM


  10. In the comments, my point was made... so it is "acceptable" political speech to discriminate against people? I don't think so...

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 26, 2008 10:55:32 AM


  11. @Michael,

    That same line alarmed me, too. Obviously, Raddon was not completely committed to the LA Film Festival's core principles of equality and diversity. People in public positions must always be aware that the private choices they make may come back to haunt them and be prepared to face the potential consequences of their actions.

    Also, it seems like some comment trolls woke up on the wrong side of the bed today...

    Posted by: seeldee | Nov 26, 2008 10:56:11 AM


  12. Good. He should resign. @Yoshi, Raddon shouldn't be able to profit from the entertainment (and gay community) with one hand and then try to discriminate with the same money in the other hand. If a pro-gay member of the Mormon Church donated money to No on Prop 8 you know they would ask for him to step down.

    Posted by: FernLaPlante | Nov 26, 2008 10:56:53 AM


  13. Yoshi:
    His decision to support Prop 8 _is_ a demonstration of his bigotry. Just because he tries to justify it by wrapping it up in the cloth of "religious freedom" does NOT change that fact. The gay board member (Showgirls or Dreamgirls or whatever writer, I don't feel like looking him up) was WRONG when he said it was just a religious belief issue.

    Not believing women should be Catholic priests? Religious issue.
    Not believing women should be doctors? Bigotry.
    Saying women shouldn't be doctors for the same reason they shouldn't be priests? Bigotry.

    But the man was NOT fired. He chose to resign because he, I think correctly, determined it would be difficult for him to continue to do his job properly after his bigotry became known.

    It's the same thing as if a closeted KKK member were discovered working for BET, or an anti-Semite was working at the ADL, or a notorious sexist (say, someone who gave money to fight the ERA) was working at Lifetime TV.

    When a church -- any church -- tries to take its restrictive, bigoted views beyond the pews and into the statehouse, it's wrong. Churches fighting FOR civil rights and against bigotry in the statehouse is fine.

    The Mormon church doesn't have to recognize same-sex married couples -- in the church. The Catholic church don't have to recognize anyone's divorce -- in the church.
    But should the Catholic church be allowed to ban divorce for everyone because Catholics don't believe in it?

    Posted by: tjc | Nov 26, 2008 11:01:17 AM


  14. Yoshi... anybody who has chosen personal religious beliefs, and then oversteps that freedom to oppress others with those chosen beliefs is indeed a bigot.

    Posted by: hangten | Nov 26, 2008 11:02:03 AM


  15. Screw you, YOSHI. How dare you paint this asshole as a victim? The guy wasn't fired; he resigned. No one forced him to resign; in fact, they did not initially accept his voluntary resignation.

    Did he feel pressure to resign? Yes, but not from his employer. It was from a general public who is fed up with hate, fed up with people who wield their power (money and influence) to force those with less power (minorities) to conform to their own narrow religious views.

    If the guy had donated money to the KKK, would you still feel sorry for him?

    Posted by: Meanwhile | Nov 26, 2008 11:05:40 AM


  16. Andy--

    I appreciate your comment, "A replacement for this bigot has not been named."

    A bigot is a bigot, I don't care how much someone says they appreciate diversity, etc. When a person works or contributes toward stealing rights from his fellow human beings, we are left with no choice but to acknowledge this man and so many others as bigots.

    I thought it was a very strong statement and I was so glad to see you cut through the bull and call it like it is.

    Posted by: Carmen | Nov 26, 2008 11:08:25 AM


  17. mixed feelings here, but want to point out that the KKK is about much more than discrimination, so it isn't exactly a perfect parallel that some people are making.

    On the flip side, he used money earned by the patrons and sponsors of the LA Film Festival. I would be inclined not to attend if I knew that the money was being passed off to anti-gay groups.

    Posted by: Dan B | Nov 26, 2008 11:08:46 AM


  18. " People should not have to be worried about losing their jobs because of the political beliefs."

    However, it's totally okay for us to be fired for loving someone of the same gender.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Nov 26, 2008 11:10:05 AM


  19. Raddon exercised his right to free speech. We exercise our right to boycott him for doing so. No one is taking away his right to free speech. He helped take away our right to marry. Free speech has consequences. And lets remember- he wasn't fired. He resigned. Nothing that happened to him involved a violation of, or a removal of any of his civil rights. Can we say the same thing?

    Posted by: LarsonNY | Nov 26, 2008 11:15:51 AM


  20. Excellent point, Mike in the Tundra.

    Posted by: Carmen | Nov 26, 2008 11:17:50 AM


  21. The issue is not a person's privately held beliefs, but his active contribution to the prop 8 campaign. The ballot box is not the place to inflict one's personal prejudices on society at large. Raddon's statement says, "I have always held the belief that all people, no matter race, religion or sexual orientation, are entitled to equal rights. As many know, I consider myself a devout and faithful Mormon. I prefer to keep the details around my contribution through my church a private matter." He has been exposed as a hypocrite who is trying to hide behind religion. Is he saying that Mormons are zombies who jump every time their church says to? I'm happy to see these kinds of people called to give an account of their support for prop 8. It's inexcusable to say, "My church made me do it." Perhaps next time he will follow his heart and belief in equality for all people, not the fetid dogma of his church.

    Posted by: busytimmy | Nov 26, 2008 11:18:16 AM


  22. YOSHI to call you an ignorant douche bag is an insult to all douche bags. Instead I'll call you a stupid fucking idiot.

    He gave money to people who want to take away our rights. It is our right not to give him our money, which is why he quit.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 26, 2008 11:22:26 AM


  23. The LA Film Fest says they are all about equality, yet they align themselves with a devout member of a RACIST religion? Mormons have been preaching for almost 150 years that African Americans are CURSED and that God literally struck them black because of their sinful nature. The entire Mormon "religion" is based on rascism. Not to mention the filth they spew about Gays. That's the LA Film Festival's idea of equality?!

    Posted by: Wayne | Nov 26, 2008 11:23:00 AM


  24. Bigot is a powerful word and I'm not sure throwing it around is going to get us any further along.. We all understand the need for equality but I'd like to think I won't lose any of my free will in the process.. A donation is his "right".. Just as it is my "right" to donate to what I feel is appropriate. If I donate a dollar at St. Mary's this weekend, should I resign from my job? Am I a bigot because I donated to the Catholic Church or the Mormon Church?? Should I tell the bell ringer or the kids from scouting that I can't contribute to their bigotry.. Andy..open your mind and think a little

    Posted by: Ellis | Nov 26, 2008 11:27:00 AM


  25. Keep things in perspective.

    The reality is that this man and others will be seen by their fellow religious followers as martyrs. They view this man's action as that of a devoted adherent who is being punished for following his faith.

    Thirty-odd years ago, the Mormon Church discriminated against non-whites. People of color were considered less than human. A miraculous revelation occurred to church leaders that the brown folks were OK (just about the time the Church was about to lose its federal tax exempt status because of racism).

    Finally, I disagree with posters who say that if a person held similar anti-black or anti-Jewish feelings he would be fired.

    Pat Buchanan has a long horrific history of racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic rants. He's written articles, books, and speeches that denigrate those he deems inferior but he has a welcome place at table of talking heads on major news networks.

    Over the summer, Buchanan appeared on a neo-Nazi's radio program to promote his new book. He also wrote a despicable article called "A Brief for Whitey."

    Buchanan, like Sean Hannity, who gained fame by having a neo-Nazi on his radio program as a regular contributor, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Michael Savage all make millions of dollars for their hate. They all are "respected" pundits with outlets in the major big money media. Right? Ann Coulter made anti-Semitic remarks, called John Edwards a f*g, and recently tried to blame the housing crisis on the minorities, guess what? Ann has a new book to be published.

    Let's stop pretending that bigots, in general, lose their jobs for their hateful statements. When it happens, it's the exception to the rule. Ask Don Imus: how long was he off the air for his racist remarks? Three months? He makes how many millions of dollars?

    Posted by: noah | Nov 26, 2008 11:27:06 AM


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