Hollywood Hypocrisy: When Kickstarter censored my film on abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell

When I first heard of the crowdfunding website Kickstarter I was elated.

It seemed perfect for me – a filmmaker who makes films that Hollywood and the mainstream media would be reluctant to finance. And so I used it to fund my last film "FrackNation" -- a documentary about fracking that questions many off the environmental scare stories and bogus lawsuits that surround the industry.

Over 3,300 people gave $212,000 in small donations to ensure the film got made. In a classic crowdfunding model we bypassed the liberal Hollywood gatekeepers – made our movie - and it was on TV across the nation.


So when I decided to make a TV drama about the life and crimes of Kermit Gosnell - Kickstarter seemed to be the obvious venue for raising funds.

Kermit Gosnell was a Philidelphia abortion doctor convicted of murdering babies as they lay in his clinic moving, breathing and crying. He would take a pair of scissors and sever their spinal cord. Its thought he killed thousands of babies in a 40-year killing spree.

I reported on his trial. As a journalist I’ve covered crime in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and infiltrated baby buying rings in Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia but the pictures I saw and evidence I heard in this modern American city was stunning.

But this was not the only shocking aspect of his trial.

Kermit Gosnell, with his thousands of victims, was America's most prolific serial killer but -- apart from some local journalists -- the national media mostly ignored the story.

And because the story was not covered by the media most Americans don't know who Kermit Gosnell is and what he did. They certainly have never heard of his victims.

These victims were destined to be erased from history - their short lives not so much forgotten as never remembered.

Hollywood, with its liberal politics,  looked certain to continue this blackout. Films that reflect badly on abortion are never made.

But I thought, perhaps naively,  Kickstarter had changed this dynamic. So we decided to tell the Kermit Gosnell story as a TV crime movie and submitted the project to Kickstarter who proudly proclaim on their website that they "never curate projects."

And we waited and waited. Eventually Kickstarter responded saying that our project was unacceptable because our toned down, but factual, description of Kermit Gosnell's 40-year killing spree violated their "community guidelines."

This was shocking. It was clear that Kickstarter had become just another part of the liberal establishment where the truth that challenged their opinions was deemed offensive and unacceptable.

Kickstarter had become just another way to fund and tell the same old liberal stories.

In a recent interview Yancey Strickler, the Kickstarter CEO and founder, claimed they are a "very diverse site." But Kickstarter's censorious reaction to the Gosnell Movie showed they really are not comfortable with diversity of opinion.

Not wanting any association with a company that tries to quash different points of view we took the Gosnell Movie to Indiegogo an alternative crowd funding site.

And the public have shown they want this film made. In just over 35 days we have smashed crowdfunding records and raised $1.8m from over 19,000 people. It has become Indiegogo's most successful film project ever.

By trying to censor the Gosnell movie Kickstarter have missed out on making money and the excitement of being part of a record breaking film project. But even worse they have missed out on bringing challenging idea and true diversity to the Kickstarter community.

You can donate to the Kermit Gosnell movie at GosnellMovie.com.