‘Horton’ Abortion Controversy

http://www.awardsdaily.com/blog/horton-abortion-controversy/

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who! Click image to expand.

A person is a person no matter how annoying.¬† Apparently, anti-abortion activists have glommed to Horton Hears a Who as a film that champions “life.” Slate’s Kim Masters on the case:

It’s Fun To Have Fun: Your Hollywoodland correspondent attended the glamorous premiere of Horton Hears a Who! last Saturday and was present when protesters started yelling shortly after Horton uttered his famous motto: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

We could not understand what was being shouted and thought perhaps that Seth Rogen or one of the other many vocal talents in the film was expressing love for Dr. Seuss’ elephant and his signature line. But as you may have read elsewhere, anti-abortion activists had infiltrated the theater. Afterward, they handed out fliers designed to look like tickets.

None of this sat well with Audrey Geisel, widow of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), who attended the screening. So did Karl ZoBell, the lawyer who represents her and who has represented the interests of Dr. Seuss for some 40 years. In an interview with NPR, he said he couldn’t make out the yelling and thought maybe “some nut” was in the theater. Later, he asked the protesters what group they represented, and none would answer. Their silence didn’t seem like an accident to him, which makes sense, because ZoBell has not been bashful about sending cease-and-desist letters to those who appropriate Dr. Seuss’ material for their own purposes. And many do. (According to ZoBell, politicians love to sling the term Grinch at their rivals.)

11 Comment

  1. As a pro-life person, I don’t approve of the methods these people used. In fact, when it comes to this issue, I am not into protesting or using most of the popular methods used by fanatical groups. But one question: how is hijacking different from turning a character or person into an icon, even if they were never meant to represent that movement? For example, Judy Garland or Lucille Ball as LGBT icons.

  2. If there’s one thing I deplore more than fanaticism, it’s lawyers. So much of what he’s complaining about obviously falls under fair use.

  3. “…never meant to represent that movement? For example, Judy Garland or Lucille Ball as LGBT icons.”

    JLo, you’re missing the obvious correlation between the marginalized minority in Who-ville and the LGBT community. (c’mon, the speck where they reside is on a pink clover.) Essentially voiceless and “invisible” to the close-minded arrogance of dominant heterosexual power structure, the basic rights of the adorable Whos are being trampled on by the “normal” residents of the jungle.

    The overwrought Kangaroo claims Horton is a sick influence on kids, and runs around in a panic insisting that the Who-ville speck be destroyed, “For the sake of the children!” That kangaroo is clearly meant to ridicule James Dobson of Focus on the Family.

    But we’re overlooking a more insidious attempt to indoctrinate America’s children:

    Horton, an Elephant, the symbol of the Republican party, right?

    Horton Hears a Who is thinly-veiled right-wing propaganda meant to instill respect for GOP domestic surveillance program:

    The Mayor of Who-ville: Hey, hon, did you ever get the feeling that you were being watched, and that maybe that thing watching you is… ehhh, a giant elephant?

  4. These people are so detached from reality that they are now going after cartoon representations of what they object to in the real world. Thank god that as the world becomes more educated we move away from such antediluvian views.

  5. “Thank god that as the world becomes more educated we move away from such antediluvian views.”

    MarioBorroto, are you calling the pro-life view “antediluvian” or the fact that the people “are so detached from reality that they are now going after cartoon representations of what they object to in the real world.”?

    Hopefully the latter, because this isn’t really the place for you to start insulting pro-life people (like me, and I’m sure many other readers of AD such as JLo). Its not too much to ask everyone to use a little respect, is it?

  6. Daniel, it is the former. There’s not much that is antediluvian about seeing parallels to real life in a film.

    If this article were not ABOUT the actions of a pro-life organization I would agree with you that this is not the right place. However, I feel the article’s subject matter opens the way for us to express our opinion on their actions in this section… And not just when we agree with their actions/views.

  7. “There’s not much that is antediluvian about seeing parallels to real life in a film.”

    Well, yeah. I pretty much knew that.

    “I feel the article’s subject matter opens the way for us to express our opinion on their actions in this section”

    So shouldn’t we be discussing their actions in this particular case, not their views in general? Because, for example, I’m pro-life but I completely disagree with the methods described in this article. I think that is what we should discuss, these people’s actions, since that is what the article is about.

    Either way, I was probably a bit too harsh in the way I worded my first response, but I just think its better to stay away from things like what you said, since the way you worded it (“Thank god that as the world becomes more educated we move away from such antediluvian views.”) Sounds a bit offensive and almost like you’re purposely trying to start an argument.

  8. they have no right to use the animation,
    make their own

  9. Thanks for sharing such a nice thought, post
    is pleasant, thats why i have read it fully

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