Catholic League upset over Dakota Fanning rape scene in movie.

It seems the Catholic League has got their panties in a bunch over a scene in the movie Hounddog in which a character played by 12 year old Dakota Fanning is raped and they’re calling on the law to look into it:

The Catholic League called for an investigation into whether “Hounddog,” shown at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, broke federal child pornography laws.

Several religious organizations expressed concern about a scene in which the character played by 12-year-old actress Dakota Fanning is raped.

“It matters not a whit whether Fanning’s mother, along with Fanning’s teacher/child welfare worker, gave their consent,” Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League, said in a statement. “What matters is whether they are an accessory to a crime.”

Not having seen the movie I can’t really comment on how the scene is presented, but I find it difficult to imagine that Dakota herself actually appears naked in the film or is actually exposed to anyone else who is naked. The film’s director seems to verify as much:

Director Deborah Kampmeier said the rape was achieved through editing.

“You have a child yelling ‘Stop it!” and only when you put that next to an image of a boy unzipping his pants do you see that it’s rape,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

The reason the Catholic League is jumping all over the film strikes me as a desperate attempt to redirect attention away from pedophile Catholic priests which have been in the news for the past couple of years. The following also seems to bear that out:

Donohue said he asked that the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Department of Justice to investigate. He said he would try to enlist the help of First Lady Laura Bush.

The Catholic Church has been criticized for allowing sexual abuse of minors to occur, he said. “Let’s see now whether Hollywood will be held to the same level of scrutiny.”

Here’s a news flash for Mr. Bill Donohue: The Catholic church was criticized because it allowed actual children to be raped by actual priests and then tried to cover it up with a shell game, for decades. Comparatively speaking Dakota Fanning wasn’t actually raped by the people making the film she appears in. That’s a big fucking difference you schmuck.

23 thoughts on “Catholic League upset over Dakota Fanning rape scene in movie.

  1. Comparatively speaking Dakota Fanning wasn’t actually raped by the people making the film she appears in.

    Les, do you mind if I spell that out a bit clearer?
    She wasn’t really raped!
    IT WAS ALL PRETEND!  LOL
    The stupid ignorant murdering child-fuckers.
    They probably think Mel time-travelled back with his crew to film The Passion of the X in situ; they probably think that Paul Bethany really is the albino priest who killed all those people in the true story of the Da Vinci Code.
    Why am I surprised?
    They love magic and believe in so much of it so easily – they even built a re-cycled religion on turning man-blood into wine and man-flesh into wafers.
    Transmogrification? Bullshit – they’re bat-shit crazy evil fucked-up pseudo-cannibals.

  2. Uh, LJ…

    The Catholic League isn’t the Catholic Church. From what I little I know about the outfit, I suspect they represent the right-wing end of the Catholic spectrum, though.

    Interestingly enough, Wikipedia has this to say:

    The Catholic League is registered as a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. In 2004, according to 1099 forms on file at Guidestar.com, the Catholic League took in approximately $2.67M USD in contributions. Its president, William A. Donohue, was paid nearly $300,000 USD in salary and benefits.

    A movie featuring the rape of a child is bound to be controversial; I have seen neither the movie nor an actual legal complaint, therefore I have no opinion about the legal situation. I can’t help agreeing with Les, though – it reeks of redirection.

  3. Uh, LJ…

    The Catholic League isn’t the Catholic Church.

    Elwed, he can’t be bothered with such trivial details as facts. 

    I can’t speak to the controversy as I haven’t seen the movie or any filings.  Don’t know what the motives are of the actors involved, including the Catholic League, but have a difficult time seeing it as redirection.  Redirection from what?  The storm is finally starting to pass. 

    I would agree with Les that there is monumental difference between the allegations directed at the Church and those in the above quoted blocks.

  4. From LJ above –

    Transmogrification? Bullshit – they’re bat-shit crazy evil fucked-up pseudo-cannibals.

    I was going to comment, but there’s really nothing to add.

  5. The only “federal child pornography law” I can think of that Donahue might be referring to would be the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 (CPPA).

    CPPA was found to be in violation of the First Amendment in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition in 2002.

    http://freespeechcoalition.com/FSCView.asp?action=preview&coid=412

    If it doesn’t involve any actual children engaging in actual explicit sexual behavior, it’s not child porn and not against the law.  But that doesn’t seem to faze the Thought Police…

  6. I honestly don’t see what the controversy is here. Granted, a scene of a child being raped is a terrible thing, but if no rape occured, nor was there any other crime committed while filming the scene, what’s the big fucking deal? The courts have ruled time and time again that even simulated child porn is hunky dorey. As for redirection, I can reasonably see that. However, I have to say they are a bit fucking late on that one. The storm IS starting to pass, and if its not, well, most people have other things to worry about like…oh….I dunno….that lovely jewel of the middle east Iraq? I really don’t see anything that worth arguing over here. I’m just filing this under daily dumb shit. Which reminds me, thanks for introducing me to “pseudo-cannibal”, I’ll have to be using that one in the future some time John.

  7. Here’s a news flash for Mr. Bill Donohue: The Catholic church was criticized because it allowed actual children to be raped by actual priests and then tried to cover it up with a shell game, for decades.

    Correction, you forgot the word repeatedly in between the words be and raped.  Minor error really.

  8. And isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

    Interestingly enough, Dakota’s own words contain far more wisdom than the likes of Bill Donahue could ever possibly fathom, let alone recognize:

    “It’s called acting.”

    Yes it is. But unfortunately, some hyper-sensitive types seem irreparably incapable of distinguishing between fantasy and reality, so it should come as no shock that these ranks appear to be occupied almost exclusively by fundies.

    Take this simpleton by the name of Ted Baehr, who had the following to say:

    “Children at 12 do not have the ability to make the types of decisions that we’re talking about here,” he said. “If we’re offended by some comedian’s racial slur, why aren’t we offended by somebody taking advantage of a 12-year-old child?”

    I don’t know, Ted. At age twelve Dakota seems far more aware of the situation than you do. But that’s not surprising, is it?

    Full article here.

  9. Mrs. DOF sent along a link to an article in her local paper about the film and the controversy around it that goes into a bit more detail about the scene in question:

    Fanning is defending her work as well as the movie, and so is the head of Sundance, who said it was courageous for director Deborah Kampmeier to tackle “challenging material.” “Hounddog” is entered in the festival’s dramatic category.

    “It’s not a rape movie,” Fanning said Tuesday. “That’s not even the point of the film.”

    The disturbing scene lasts a few minutes but is not graphic. There is no nudity, the scene is very darkly lit and only Fanning’s face and hand are shown.

    Kampmeier said it took her a decade to get the film made, largely because of the rape scene, but cutting it was a compromise she was unwilling to make.

    “This issue is so silenced in our society. There are a lot of women who are alone with this story,” she said.

    “When you’re shooting a film, it’s the images you line up next to each other that create a story,” Kampmeier said. “If you have a hand hitting the ground, Dakota screaming ‘stop’ and you see a zipper unzip – that creates a rape.”

    So, once again, no nudity, only Dakota’s face and hand are shown, a shot of a zipper unzipping, and her crying ‘stop’.

    If that’s child porn then I don’t see how the pedophiles get off on that stuff. Yet that’s what the Christian Fundies are screaming:

    Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission and publisher of the Web site movieguide.org, claims “Hounddog” breaks federal child-pornography law. He said the law covers material that “appears” to show minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

    “Even if they’re not actually performing the explicit act, we are dealing with a legal issue here,” he said.

    Old Ted here is really stretching to try and make this a legal issue.

    Meanwhile Dakota, who has already demonstrated in other films and interviews that she’s remarkably mature for her age, continues to defend the film:

    Fanning said she and Kampmeier talked for months before the film was shot and spent a day painting pottery together and discussing the story.

    “It’s not really happening,” Fanning said of a rape. “It’s a movie, and it’s called acting. I’m not going through anything. Cody and Isabelle aren’t going through anything, their characters are.

    “And for me, when it’s done it’s done,” she said. “I don’t even think about it anymore.”

    Well, she wouldn’t have to if the Catholics weren’t so desperate to try and put the pedophile spotlight on someone else for awhile.

  10. Consi the church and the league may be different things, but they still believe the same made up NOT TRUE racist homophobic mysoginist lies.

  11. Elwed: The Catholic League isn’t the Catholic Church.

    Sorry, I don’t differentiate between mind-fucking god-squads.
    I’m still comfortable in assuming it isn’t an atheist squad … nor an evangelical fundie squad.

    The Catholic Church has been criticized for allowing sexual abuse of minors to occur, he said. “Let’s see now whether Hollywood will be held to the same level of scrutiny.”

    S-t-r-e-t-c-h.
    Bummer; didn’t work.

    What is the Catholic League?
    The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. Founded in 1973 by the late Father Virgil C. Blum, S.J., the Catholic League defends the right of Catholics – lay and clergy alike – to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination.

    I thought I’d better make sure.
    Mmm. Not too far wide of the mark … didn’t think so.  wink

    defends the right of Catholics

    Notice that bit?
    Betcha Dakota’s not part of their cult.
    They don’t defend the rights of humans let alone children – they’re into misdirection … just like their puppet-masters.  wink
    Oh, by the way. In that Catholic League site? I Cntrl Fd ‘children’
    They didn’t get a mention.  LOL

    “I consider membership in the Catholic League a must.” Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R

  12. Not too far wide of the mark

    Yea, I always say as long as I’m not too wrong with the facts, hey what the hell.

  13. You see people, when the rape deals with a little girl the Catholics get all up in arms.  When it deals with a little boy they say, “Bend over”…

  14. I always say as long as I’m not too wrong with the facts, hey what the hell.

    Facts/Catholic.
    Do these words belong together?

    you’re a bit over the top right now.

    That obvious, eh?  LOL

  15. I think I’m going to make a point of seeing the film as it takes place in the ‘60s (my favorite decade) and I’ve generally enjoyed Dakota Fanning’s acting (except for her terrible performance in the deplorable “War of the Worlds”).

  16. He said the law covers material that “appears” to show minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

    “Even if they’re not actually performing the explicit act, we are dealing with a legal issue here,” he said.

    Did this retard even read the law he appears to be claiming a fictional rape scene runs afoul of? The “appears to be” and “conveys the impression” language with regard to depictions of minors engaging in sexual activity is exactly what made CPPA unconstitutional.

    These fucksticks don’t really care about children so much as they want any and all speech they find offensive to be against the law. Obscenity convictions are too difficult to get, so they’ve switched tactics in the hopes that by legislating away the rights of adults in the name of “protecting the children” they will be that much closer to their ideal, sanitized Christian nation.

    If they care so much about children, how about they work toward ending the poverty and despair that drives so many actual CHILDREN in inner cities to actually engage in sexually explicit behavior in order to eat, have a place to sleep, or simply keep themselves alive?

    Oh yeah, I forgot… the lily-white churchy folks don’t ever SEE that sort of thing, because even if it’s depicted in fictional works, they won’t be watching or reading them because they don’t want to sin and make the baby Jesus cry.

  17. Facts/Catholic.
    Do these words belong together?

    Not since early Vatican II and hope still existed for some type of modern reformation.  Obviously, that’s gone.

  18. What gets me is that a group of people that feel they are morally superior to others, needs to pass judgment or the idiot sheep that are drooling for entertainment and guidance.

    Religious freedom, is just that. Everyone can believe in whatever they want, just don’t force their view on others. I guess this is hard for the Christian zealot and radical Muslim.

  19. Yea and its too bad too.  I know some religious people that are decent folk, believe strongly in science, and understand that human decency and tolerance are important.  Things like this give these people a bad rap.

  20. Mr. Donahue raised his voice in strong dissent against Dakota Fanning’s rape scene in Hounddog, I am surprised that he did not scream against her role in The Runaways, where Dakota wore a pink corset while singing on stage.

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