Another point of view about the Cinemark/Milk boycott

The December 1 blog "Boulder's Milk Boycott Missing One Thing: Milk" tells of a protest against the Cinemark movie-theater chain, whose head man, Alan Stock, donated $9,999 to the California campaign to outlaw gay marriage. Locals activists inspired by a campaign headquartered on the web at NoMILKforCinemark.com are expressing their disapproval by urging filmgoers to see Milk, an acclaimed Harvey Milk biopic starring Sean Penn, at venues not owned by Cinemark.

Now, another point of view. Boulder's Philip Weinstein believes that Cinemark is demonstrating "its commitment to inclusion" by featuring Milk; as such, the boycott sends the wrong message.

Click "More" to read Weinstein's letter in full. -- Michael Roberts

Members of our GLBT rights community have come out against the showing of Milk at our local commercial theater.

Cinemark is ready to demonstrate its commitment to inclusion by screening this superb dramatic history of an American hero, Harvey Milk, played powerfully by another American hero, Sean Penn.

But community activists say that it can't happen here. Alan Stock, CEO and major owner of Cinemark, with 414 theaters in the U.S. and Latin America, funded a fraction of a second of a TV spot against equality with his personal contribution of $9,999 in support of California's Proposition 8.

Of course, those boycotting Milk at the local theater will see Milk somewhere else. And we'll support one or two ghettoized progressive screenings. But what of our community members who would see Milk only because it is among the best films showing at the local theater?

The Human Rights Campaign and other allies work hard to reach exactly those folks -- the general open-minded public -- with a vision of equality, and inspiration of our culture's continuing progress. This is worth so much more to us than $10 of revenue to a corporation which has -- oh my stars! -- an ultra-conservative CEO.

Alan Stock's $9,999 played a minor role in the passage of an anti-family initiative. Don't also hand his corporation a reason to keep Milk -- a powerful 2-hour lesson in courageous, historic American efforts toward progress -- away from hundreds of thousands of potential viewers.

The passage of Proposition 8 sets the stage for a major transformational shift towards equality. American society is ready.

Please encourage all theaters to give Milk the broadest possible exposure, and ensure the success of this, and similar, liberation messages. Symbols are important. Pick the right ones. Support progressive media -- wherever it shows up.

Philip Weinstein Boulder CO

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