Archive for the ‘The Indictment – biased movie – McMartin Preschool Trial’ Category

The Indictment – biased movie – McMartin Preschool Trial

October 2, 2008

Cult and Ritual Abuse – It’s History, Anthropology, and Recent Discovery in Contemporary America – Noblitt and Perskin – Prager (2000) p. 141 – 142 (1995 book – p.184 2000 book) The McMartin Case is also the subject of the cable movie, Indictment, produced by Home Box Office. Several children’s advocacy groups have expressed concerns that the film’s focus appears to be slanted in favor of the accused perpetrators. The newsletter for the organization, Believe the Children, contains an impassioned plea to its readers to relinquish their subscriptions to Home Box Office (HBO) in protest of the film’s airing. An article featured in the newsletter entitled “Sex Abuse, Lies and Videotape”(1995) describes the genesis of the program and voices its concerns that the true victims of the McMartin case, the children, might be damaged by the perspective of the film’s author, Abby Mann. According to the article, Mann and his wife, Myra, became advocates of the operators and staff of the McMartin preschool during the course of their trial. Because of the Mann’s involvement in the case and their relationship to the accused perpetrators, the article expressed the concern that the film might reflect an unbalanced portrait of accused and accusers such that roles might be reversed in the eyes of the viewing public. This has, in fact, been proven to be a correct assumption. Reviews of the cable movie featured in magazines such as Time (Bellafante, 1995) and TV Guide (McDougal, 1995) on the film’s depiction of an overzealous prosecuting attorney, a mentally unbalanced parent of a child victim, and a punitive therapist all lend themselves to the perpetuation of the ideas that the true victims are the alleged perpetrators. Ironically, this film also casts the media in an unfavorable light implying that the media’s over-the-top reporting of the event led to a veritable witch hunt.”

The movie “The Indictment,” produced for Home Box Office, about the McMartin trial, was criticized by several children’s advocacy groups for being slanted in favor of the accused perpetrators. According to an article featured in the newsletter “Sex Abuse, Lies and Videotape,” (1995) the film’s author Abby Mann and his wife Myra became advocates of the operators and staff of the McMartin preschool during the McMartin trial. The article expressed the concern that the film might reflect an unbalanced portrait of accused and accusers such that roles might be reversed in the eyes of the viewing public. This has been proven to be a correct assumption.”

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