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A Sydney cinema has become the latest venue to cancel a screening of men’s rights film The Red Pill, which has been the subject of feminist activist protests since it was released.
Dendy Cinema Newtown in Sydney’s inner west canned a sold-out screening of the film next week. The screening was organised by FanForce which was last week told their planned showing was cancelled.
FanForce is understood to be disappointed with the cancellation and despite multiple attempts to contact Dendy by The Australian, the cinema did not return calls or emails..
It was revealed last week that the University of Sydney’s student union had banned the screening of the film on union premises. The union claimed it had received a number of complaints about the documentary.
“This documentary is decidedly anti-feminist and anti-woman, focusing not on the ways in which the systemic issues of patriarchy may also adversely affect men, but instead placing the blame on women and feminism,” the union said.
The documentary’s director Cassie Jaye wrote a comment which she posted to the union’s website but has yet to be publicly displayed. In it she said the majority of her work sheds light and advocates for women’s issues.
“If you ask someone who deeply cares about gender equality to look into men’s issues, that person is going to realise that men have issues that deserve to be addressed, and that is what happened when I was making The Red Pill,” she said.
“When I decided to look into the Men’s Rights Movement, I realised that gender equality goes beyond feminism. Gender equality requires looking at the bigger picture, which includes men’s experiences.”
In November last year, The Red Pill was scheduled to show at Palace Cinema’s Kino theatre in Melbourne. But a petition of more than 2000 signatures that labelled the film “misogynist propaganda” resulted in the cinema cancelling the screening. Another cinema then screened the film.
The campaign being waged against cinemas’ rights to show this documentary in private screenings echoes the bullying campaign to boycott Coopers following their online video of a discussion on same-sex marriage. The discussion was between two federal members of parliament and forced Coopers Brewery to issue an apology and sign up to a same-sex advocacy program.
Earlier this month in Calgary, Canada, a screening of The Red Pill was cancelled but then reinstated. The showing attracted about a dozen silent protesters according to the Calgary Sun and between 250 and 300 filmgoers. A screening in Ottawa last year was also cancelled before an alternate venue was found.
Cinemas in the UK withdrew their support for the film prior to its preview in Bath at the National Men’s Rights Working Forum.
New York’s The Village Voice refused to run a paid advertisement of the film and their writer Alan Scherstuhl referred to Jaye as a “propagandist”.
Jaye has previously said that she thought the film would be about an “underground movement of misogynists”.
Instead the documentary raises the issues of male suicide and murder rates, custody of children and how men are the only sex drafted to fight in wars.