John-Henry Westen


Famous Players Boycott Update – Won’t Run Ads Supporting Traditional Marriage

John-Henry Westen

TORONTO, February 15, 2005 ( – The pro-gay ‘marriage’ ad run in Famous Players movie theatres across the country prior to all films is coming to an end Thursday.  The ads which have run since February 1 thanks to a donation by Famous Players Media President Salah Bachir created a firestorm of protest and caused several groups to launch a boycott against the theatre chain.

Campaign Life Coalition, one of the groups advocating the boycott, is demanding that Famous Players donate equal time to ads supporting traditional marriage.  However, Famous Players has conveniently announced that it has stopped running all political ads. 

In a series of discussions with Famous Players Theatres Canada Inc., Rev. Emmanuel, executive director of Equipping Christians for the Public Square, another group advocating the boycott, told Famous Players (FP) executives, “If you decide to get political, be prepared to suffer the political and economic consequences.” 

Rev. Emmanuel indicated that in his discussion with two senior executives, it was clear that Famous Players Theatres was not prepared for the level of active protest. “One executive mentioned that FP was completely caught off guard - ‘we had no idea that we’d receive the volume of calls we did’,” he said. 

Rev. Emmanuel said that the Theatre Company resisted requests to cancel the ad, stating that they will continue to show the pre-film still ad until the determined stop date - Thursday, February 18.

Jeff Rush, FP’s VP of Marketing stated in conversation with Rev. Emmanuel, “we do not want to be seen as having been strong-armed by anyone to cancel the ad. However, it is clear that the issue is far too political and as a result we have determined not only to stop running this particular ad, but any future political advertising.”

Rev. Emmanuel had lobbied to have a counter ad posted on Famous Players’ screens. “While we are disappointed with Famous Players’ rejection of our ad in defense of marriage, I am pleased at the level of pressure by advocates of marriage to protest the blatant politicization of our youth on this issue.” 

See related coverage: 

Boycott Launched Against Famous Players Theatres For Pre-Film Ads Promoting Gay ‘Marriage’   

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