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Vernon Cineplex cancels controversial film screening 'in support of Pride Month'

Galaxy Cinemas was set to offer a private screening of The War on Children on June 15
Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon has decided to cancel a screening of a controversial film, which was to take place June 15, 2024, in the middle of Pride Month.

The Vernon Cineplex has decided to pull the plug on a controversial film that was going to be screened privately on Saturday. 

The film, a documentary by Robby Starbuck called The War on Children, has been labelled as anti-2SLGBTQIA+ by critics, including Vernon lawyer and member of the queer community Kylie Walman, who took issue with the film being screened in the middle of Pride Month. 

Galaxy Cinemas originally said it wouldn't cancel the screening of the film, with Cineplex's vice president of communications Michelle Saba saying Wednesday that the theatre's role as a film exhibitor is "not to censor content, but to provide the public with movie choices and they can decide whether or not to see a film."

However, on Thursday, Saba expressed that the Cineplex had changed its mind. 

"We made the decision to cancel the private screening out of respect and in support of Pride month and the 2SLGBTQI+ community," Saba said in an email to The Morning Star. 

Saba did not say whether the film would be screened at a future date beyond Pride Month. 

In a previous email to media outlets, Walman highlighted an article by Rolling Stone magazine, which reported that the filmmakers of the documentary "used trickery to have members of the LGBTQ community participate in the film and then edited their interviews to make it sound as though they were in favour of children being exposed to sexually explicit material."

On Thursday, Walman said she was "very happy that this decision was made."

Walman, a member of Lawyers Against Transphobia, added she is believes even with the film cancellation, it's important not to be "complacent" when advocating for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights. 

"We cannot be silent," she said.

A group called The Freedom Network was selling tickets to the private screening for $20. 



Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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