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…