‘Unplanned’ Is a Must-See for a Nation in Denial

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Hollywood loves to rally around a cause, but only as long as the cause is solidly in line with its accepted left-wing ideology. One cause that definitely isn’t, is the advocating of the right of an unborn baby to live.

“Unplanned,” a daring new movie that pays no attention to Hollywood’s roster of no-go subjects, has been fighting a constant uphill battle as it forges its way toward release day. Along the treacherous road it has had to traverse, it has been blocked from using certain music in its soundtrack, banned by a Christian radio network, and unfairly rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The movie boldly tells the true story of Abby Johnson, one of the youngest individuals in the country to ever have served as a Planned Parenthood clinic director.

After working at an abortion clinic for eight years and winning an “Employee of the Year” award, Abby had the enormously disturbing yet incredibly enlightening experience of having to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. What she witnessed was absolutely horrendous: a tiny baby inside the womb, who was in the struggle of his or her life, having to suffer through the gruesomeness of dismemberment.

Following the experience, Abby summoned up the courage necessary to leave her financially lucrative position and extensive employment stint. She walked away from the nation’s largest abortion provider and set out to launch a ministry that would help other former Planned Parenthood employees to transition out of abortion related work.

The writing and directing team of Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, who also wrote the screenplay for the film “God’s Not Dead,” understood the challenge that the latest movie project faced.

The hostility issue was driven home through the difficulties experienced in a previous pro-life film, “Roe v. Wade,” including an incident in which a significant part of the cast and crew abruptly left the project after learning of the script’s content.

While the casting of “Unplanned” was taking place, potential cast members were alerted by the directors that involvement with the film might mean that future work in the entertainment industry may be in jeopardy as a result of the movie’s content.

The film was shot in secret in Stillwater, Oklahoma. While on the set, the cast and crew used the code name “Redeemed” in order to keep the project under wraps and hold close to the vest the fact that they were making a film with the same title as Johnson’s memoir.

All of those working on the project were instructed not to reveal the movie’s content to the press or in any other manner disclose it on the Internet or on social media.

As the producers sought licensing rights for songs that they felt might assist the mood of certain scenes in the movie, they received the cold shoulder from the music industry. The required licensing was denied for a number of tunes, including Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party,” One Direction’s “Story of My Life,” The Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” and Trevor Rabin’s “The Guardian Suite.”

Additionally, the movie received some unexpected flack from a giant of the Christian world. K-Love is a Christian music radio network, which broadcasts on hundreds of stations in at least 47 states with markets that include New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. K-Love is also the sixth most online streamed station in the world. Essentially, the Christian music giant banned from its airwaves any promotion for “Unplanned.”

Abby was not at all happy with the network, expressing her displeasure in the following tweet: “Ever heard of the Christian radio station K-LOVE? Of course you have. They are huge, in just about every market. And, they are funded by their listeners. Well, here’s some news for you. K-LOVE has decided that they will not run any promos for my movie, Unplanned. So, a Christian radio network won’t advertise for a prolife movie. They have stated that they don’t want to promote anything ‘political.’”

In a wholly unfair and blatantly biased move, the MPAA informed the filmmakers that the organization planned to give the movie the “R” rating rather than a “PG-13” one, unless the visual depictions of abortion were edited out of the film.

It surely is not lost by anyone who pays attention to the movie ratings system that a “PG-13” rating, as opposed to “R” rating, is routinely handed out to films that include in their content profanity, gratuitous violence, and/or sexually explicit material.

Abby wrote an open letter to parents across America to make sure that they understood “Unplanned” is free from profanity or sexual content. In the letter, she describes a scene, which depicts what she saw on the ultrasound screen – images that transformed her life and redirected her path.

“You will see what I saw: a baby on an ultrasound screen in black and white 2D. You will see the abortion instrument, which looks like a big straw in real life and like a dark line on the ultrasound, introduced onto the screen. You will see the baby struggle against it. You will see the baby first slowly, then quickly disappear into the instrument as it does what it is designed to do,” Abby wrote.

A second scene that Abby cited as a reason for the “R” rating is one that she indicated was a re-creation of her experience with the abortion pill.

“I won’t lie to you; that scene shows some blood. In real life I hemorrhaged so badly I thought I was going to die. The movie captures that without being gratuitous or gory,” Abby wrote.

The MPAA has denied that it assigned the rating due to political bias. However, the group’s decision has resulted in a scenario in which a teenage girl can obtain an actual abortion without her parent’s permission, but the same teenage girl is not allowed admission into a theater, minus the supervision of an adult, to view a film that includes a scene that merely depicts the real life procedure.

The March 29 premiere of “Unplanned” is right around the corner.

In honor of all the babies who have had to endure the procedure that Abby witnessed and worse, let’s all go see “Unplanned,” and perhaps we can escort some teens and other youth who are secondary victims in this whole abortion tragedy.

Netflix Gets a Hollywood Makeover

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Netflix has just turned its back on the Silicon Valley tech firms in a move that signals a seismic shift in the entertainment business.

The streaming video giant pulled out of the Internet Association, which is the lobbying entity for web-based businesses, and locked arms with Silicon Valley’s nemesis, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Hollywood’s preeminent lobbying organization.

The Internet Association is a highly influential trade group that represents the biggest technology companies in the world, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon. The MPAA members are the six studio giants of Hollywood: Disney, Paramount, Sony, 21st Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros.

Although the tech firms of Silicon Valley and the entertainment companies of Hollywood have some common interests, they are on opposite sides when it comes to copyright protection and statutory immunities that are of benefit to Internet intermediaries.

Because of recent data scandals and charges of censorship by the largest tech firms, U.S. lawmakers are raising questions about two existing statutes: 1) Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields Internet concerns from liability for content published by their users; and 2) The safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which helps to protect such firms from copyright claims.

Hollywood, via the MPAA, has been pursuing more severe anti-piracy measures in an effort to prod Internet intermediaries into taking steps to prevent and remove illegal content that has been uploaded by users.

Immediately after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made an appearance in Washington, D.C. before a congressional committee, MPAA head Charles Rivkin requested that Congress begin looking into the possibility of holding Internet platforms accountable, which, of course, raised the specter of government regulation.

Rivken’s rhetoric infuriated Internet Association’s Michael Beckerman, who characterized the MPAA leader’s calls to regulate Internet companies as “shameless rent-seeking.”

Netflix is looking to the MPAA to assist in helping the streaming company expand into markets that in the past have proven to be difficult, if not impossible, to penetrate, which has been especially true with regard to China and India.

Netflix gradually morphed into a different entity from what it was at its onset. In the beginning, Netflix was a streaming platform that hosted third-party content and served as an alternative to Blockbuster and other video rental stores. The Netflix of today, though, is a full blown mega-studio, having reportedly spent about $13 billion on content just last year. Its service seeks to actively pair up content with needs and preferences of its subscribers.

In a recent letter to investors, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings indicated that because of the company’s success in producing original content, it plans to move away from outside programming and make content production the company’s primary objective.

Once dismissed by the industry as an entertainment flash in the pan and a mere rerun platform, Netflix has reshaped the way in which the public consumes entertainment. The industry realized that Netflix had become a threat to traditional entertainment business models, so CEOs sought comfort in mega-mergers and the establishment of new streaming services.

AT&T acquired Time Warner, and the newly formed entity presently has plans to launch a streaming service later in the year. Disney is also set to launch a streaming service, following its pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox. And Comcast will reportedly get into the streaming service business as well, after its acquisition of NBCUniversal is completed.

Netflix recently shocked its subscribers with its biggest price increase ever. A recent survey by Streaming Observer and Mindnet Analytics reveals that Netflix might lose up to 27% of its subscribers due to the price hike.

Another factor that poses a threat to Netflix’s bottom line is that major streaming service competitor Hulu reportedly has plans to lower its monthly charge from $7.99 to $5.99, starting at the end of February 2019.

Netflix is likely to lose much of its licensed third-party content at approximately the same time that Disney’s much-anticipated streamer is launched, complete with entertainment fare from its “Star Wars,” Marvel, and Pixar catalogues.

The current corporate model of Netflix is predicated on rapid growth. However, it now looks as though Netflix will have the brakes applied as emerging competition from Hollywood causes the streaming business to go through a remake.