What’s Going On Here? A Hallmark Mystery And A Confederacy of Ethics Dunces

The anti-abortion film “Unplanned” was honored with three nominations for the 28th Annual MovieGuide awards that aired on February 24 on the Hallmark Drama cable channel.  “Unplanned,” written and directed by Chuck Kozelman and Carey Solomon, tells the true story of  Abby Johnson’s transformation  from director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility to a full-time pro-life advocate.The film’s star Ashley Bratcher was nominated for the Grace Award for Most Inspiring performance; “Unplanned” was up for the Faith & Freedom Award, and had a nomination in the “Best Movies for Mature Audiences” category. Nevertheless, every mention of the movie  was cut from the pre-recorded televised show. The nominees from “Unplanned” were the only nominees eliminated from the broadcast.

Dr. Ted Baehr, the founder and publisher of MovieGuide, which hosted the awards, admitted that it was his organization that edited the movie out of the nominees listing, not Hallmark, which, he said, only broadcast the show. His asinine excuse was that “some” in his organization felt “Unplanned” should not have been nominated for awards. Does that make any sense at all? If the Oscars left an entire film and its nominees out of the awards broadcast, would anyone accept the excuse that it was done because “some people” didn’t agree with the nominations?

True, editing a three-and-a-half-hour gala award ceremony down to 42-minutes calls for some tough choices, but leaving out every mention of a single nominated film can’t be justified, and is a res ipsa loquitur attack on that single work of cinema.

“We made some decisions. We may have made some wrong decisions, but we’ve made decisions,” Baehr said in an interview. This guy is something: he then threw his editor under the Christian bus, saying that Movieguide’s videographer Jeremy Carroll was responsible for the censored version that Hallmark originally broadcast, and that Baehr trusted his editor. “I’m not going to go to my editor…and tell him he shouldn’t have cut it,” Baehr said. “I’m sure he cut it for good reasons, and I’m sure he’d make the right decisions and I trust my editors.”

Baehr is head of the organization and responsible for the product. He also said that the editing was right and wrong in the same interview. Now we know what’s going on here: MovieGuide is run by an incompetent, ethically ignorant idiot.

More evidence on that score: despite Baehr’s claim that his organization was responsible for the discriminatory editing, Movieguide President and COO Robby Baehr—yes, Baehr’s son— said that  Jeremy Carroll was simply following directives from Hallmark.

“I’m sorry if there was confusion but he actually just edited it but all final creative was Hallmark’s. He would never have had any power to do anything without their direction,” the other Baehr  said. Gee, it almost sound like the broadcast was unplanned.

It’s your show, you incompetent, craven fool. If Hallmark said to put swastikas on the set, would you? Why didn’t you, or your father, or someone with a sense of integrity and a functioning brain stem say, “I’m sorry, we can’t deceive our audience like that. It’s non-negotiable.” It doesn’t matter whether Hallmark or MovieGuide exercised such miserable judgment. Both are accountable.

Hallmark has now apologized to various individuals connected with “Unplanned,”  and apparently asked MovieGuide to re-edit the show to include the film and its nominees, and will be streaming it at some point in the future. Why anyone would bother to watch anything from either organization after this debacle is the real mystery. Maybe the thing should be run on the Hallmark Mystery Channel…


4 thoughts on “What’s Going On Here? A Hallmark Mystery And A Confederacy of Ethics Dunces

  1. Support for abortion is a sacrament of evil. Killing children is not defensible. Serving it requires you mute the voices of decency. (And I’m not a religious person of any flavor.)

  2. This is what’s called a “leave me alone” response to questions, in which someone gives non-answers in the hopes that the questioner will get bored or frustrated at the non-answers and walk away. The fact is that most of these organizations stand foursquare behind the right to abortion, up to and including at the moment of birth and find a film like this disgusting and unworthy, so they single it out to be obscured.

    Certain topics are just not allowed to be shown in a positive or even a neutral light by the film industry, although they’ll never admit it. There used to be a motion picture production code that limited the use of foul language, the showing of violence, sexual content, drug use, or the showing of certain things like the clergy, law enforcement, or the military in a bad light. It was admittedly unfair and dumb, so it was abandoned around the 1960s. There is no official code at this time, but, if you were to write down the unofficial new code for movie production, it would probably include the following:

    1. Law enforcement shall not be shown in a good light. If a lead character is a police officer or other law enforcement agent, then he must be a maverick who receives no support or backup from the greater law enforcement community, which must be composed of ordinary officers who are not too bright and supervisors who are all corrupt, racist, or both.

    2. No conservative political figure shall be shown in a good light. Occasionally there may be decent characters who identify as conservative, but none of them shall do or say anything overtly conservative. Mostly the purpose of conservative characters is to look stupid and heartless next to the liberal main characters.

    3. The military shall not be shown in a good light. If a lead character is a member of the military he must be a maverick who operates mostly on his own or with a small group (pilots and special forces work well) who defies orders anyone can see are wrong. Other members of the military are idiots, and higher officers are all either corrupt, budding tyrants, or both.

    4. The intelligence agencies shall not be shown in a good light. If a lead character is a member of such an agency he must work alone and as often against orders as with them. The upper echelon of that organization shall be composed of either budding tyrants or political hacks.

    5. The church shall not be shown in a good light. Protestant clergy shall typically be shown as prudes, dead set against anything fun in life and VERY judgmental, while Catholic clergy shall be shown as corrupt or pedophiles. Jewish clergy depends – they can be feisty Holocaust survivors, or they can be obsessed Zionists. None of the above applies to black or Muslim clergy though. Black churches and mosques are awesome.

    6. Royalty and nobility shall not be shown in a good light. If the story is a fantasy, then they will usually be the corrupt, greedy, and tyrannical villains of the piece. If the story is historical, they will still be corrupt, greedy, and tyrannical (if medieval), or they will be indolent, greedy, and incompetent (if Victorian or modern).

    7. When possible, the hero, or at least a major hero, should not be a white male. If he is a white male, then at least once he must be corrected on a major wrong decision by either a woman or a person of color.

    8. The treatment of actual historical figures varies. If they were white men, then play up their flaws and mistakes, and if they were slaveowners, put that front and center to emphasize that they were hypocrites. If they were not, then emphasize their good qualities, and minimize or justify anything wrong they may have done. If in doubt, refer to Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” and the works of Noam Chomsky, at least for American characters.

    9. Blacks shall not be shown in a bad light. Even if they are gangsters or otherwise criminals, justify that by showing them as originally decent people who were prevented by the white system from doing well honestly.

    10. Hispanics shall not be shown in a bad light. See #9 above.

    11. Muslims shall not be shown in a bad light. See #9 and #10 above. In this world Palestine is a real nation and there are no terrorists, only freedom fighters.

    12. Women shall not be shown in a bad light. If they do anything wrong, justify it by showing men treating them like garbage. Extra points if they slap a man or grab him by the nuts for getting fresh.

    13. Big business shall not be shown in a good light. Anyone not low-level is a corrupt pig looking to stuff his own pockets at the expense of the low level people. Occasionally a rising star will emerge to be a voice of morality, preferably a woman or person of color, but that person will be quickly silenced.

    14. Lawyers shall not be shown in a good light, except for outsiders who practice alone and represent the wrongly accused without pay and some of the line prosecutors. Higher ranking prosecutors will always be political hacks and lawyers in big firms will always be greedy pigs.

    15. Teachers shall never be shown in a bad light, except possibly those who are close to retirement, who can be shown as tired of it all. Principals, of course, are political hacks. Coaches vary, depending on the movie. They can be either heroes trying to show kids the way, or villains pushing kids too hard for the sake of money or glory.

    16. Despite the high level of sexual activity for a female lead, because Good People Have Good Sex, no woman ever gets pregnant unless she is specifically trying to avoid getting pregnant. If she IS trying to get pregnant, then the chances of her doing so PLUNGE. However, if she is trying to avoid it, because it will mess with her career, embarrass her overly strait-laced family, or just because she doesn’t want it, the chances of her doing so go UP significantly. If the choice not to have the child isn’t made for her via miscarriage or accident before she can do anything, she will abort the child, and vigorously defend her decision to do so with the perfect words at every angle, while everyone who objects will do a Ralph Kramden.

    Any questions?

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