Contrary to what MCN’s David Poland reported on 11.14, L.A. Film Festival director Rich Raddon did not, I’m told, tender his resignation to the FIND board a day earlier over the revelation that he’d donated $1500 in support of Proposition 8 — the California gay-marriage-ban amendment that passed on 11.4. Raddon did, however, submit his resignation yesterday, and it was accepted.
Former L.A. Film Festival director Rich Raddon, Effie Brown
The Raddon/FIND/Prop. 8 situation was inflamed or at least re-addressed in a Sunday L.A. Times article by Rachel Abramowitz that ran two days ago.
Abramowitz wrote that Raddon “offered to resign last week.” Verbally, she apparently means, and not in the form of a letter that said “I resign.” What I’m told is that Raddon “never resigned, ever, so when the board voted unanimously, they weren’t voting not to accept the resignation, although they did decide not to fire him.”
In any case, the anger about the $1500 wouldn’t go away, and after Abramowitz’s article it was time to fold the hand.
“‘There is still roiling debate within [FIND],” distributor Howard Cohen, a gay advisor to the film festival, told Abramowitz. “Is it okay to let this go? There are a lot of gay people who work at Film Independent. The issue has not been closed.” .
Director Gregg Araki “has said he won’t allow his films to be shown at the L.A. Film Festival,” Abramowitz reported. “Others, such as Milk producers and gay activists Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, say they’re going to ‘study in depth all the facets of our specific situation before making a decision.’
Araki said that Raddon “should step down. ‘I don’t think he should be forcibly removed. The bottom line is if he contributed money to a hateful campaign against black people, or against Jewish people, or any other minority group, there would be much less excusing of him. The terrible irony is that he runs a film festival that is intended to promote tolerance and equality.’
Raddon declined to talk to Abramowitz, but Dawn Hudson, executive director of Film Independent, said, “Are we happy with his donation? No. But he has a right to his religious and personal beliefs.”
Outside Hollywood’s left-liberal, gay-friendly political arena, that is.