Boston Globe Keeps ‘Spotlight’ Off Its Own Reporters

March 16, 2016

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn – among others – vociferously protested the portrayal of him in the movie Spotlight. As Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen wrote last November:

After seeing the film at the Loews theater across from Boston Common, [Dunn] stepped onto the sidewalk and threw up.

The movie sickened him because he is portrayed as someone who minimized the suffering of those who were sexually abused, as someone who tried to steer Globe reporters away from the story, as someone invested in the coverup.

 

Dunn’s lawyer subsequently “sent a letter to the filmmakers, demanding that the offending scene be deleted from the movie.”

Well, that hasn’t happened, but this has, as Mark Shanahan reports in today’s Globe:

B.C. dialogue fiction, ‘Spotlight’ studio says

Open Road Films, the studio that distributed the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight,” issued a statement Tuesday acknowledging that dialogue attributed in the movie to Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn was fictional.

When “Spotlight” was released last fall, Dunn expressed outrage, saying that he was depicted as someone who downplayed the suffering of people who were sexually abused by priests. He enlisted a lawyer to contact Open Road and demand the removal of a scene in the movie in which his character discusses whether previous administrators at Boston College High School were aware of sexual abuse there.

 

At issue was a scene depicting Dunn in a 2002 meeting with Globe reporters Walter “Robby” Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer (played by Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams). The topic: Allegations of sexual abuse at BC High. The offending dialogue from the character playing Dunn: “It’s a big school, Robby, you know that. And we’re talking about seven alleged victims over, what, eight years?”

The Globe piece includes this statement from Open Road Films:

“As is the case with most movies based on historical events, ‘Spotlight’ contains fictionalized dialogue that was attributed to Mr. Dunn for dramatic effect. We acknowledge that Mr. Dunn was not part of the Archdiocesan coverup. It is clear from his efforts on behalf of the victims at BC High that he and the filmmakers share a deep, mutual concern for victims of abuse.”

What the Globe piece does not include is Robinson’s and Pfeiffer’s previous backing of the movie version (tip o’ the pixel to splendid reader Ember2378 for the link). But the Boston Herald’s Jack Encarnacao helpfully fills in the details.

The [studio’s] statement comes after both the Globe’s Walter Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer said the scene in the movie captured Dunn’s “spirited public relations defense of BC High” during their first Spotlight team interview with him in 2002 during the paper’s probe of clergy sexual abuse.

 

Robinson and Pfeiffer did not respond to the Herald’s calls seeking comment. We’ll see if anyone else has better luck.

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Why Didn’t the Globe Names-Check Sacha Pfeiffer?

January 12, 2016

Apparently, a reporter/movie hero is not without publicity except in her own paper.

By now you most likely know that Boston Globe Spotlight reporter Sacha Pfeiffer was the Golden Globes plus one of actress Rachel McAdams, who played Pfeiffer in the movie. You certainly know it if you read Erica Corsano’s Social Studies column in today’s Boston Herald.

 

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Crosstown at the Boston Globe, though, here are the local Globes-trotters spotlighted in today’s Names column.

 

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Call the roll from from top left): actress/model Ricki Lander, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, designer Nina Garcia, actress/Cohasset native Kate Bosworth, and actress/Boston Latin grad Julia Jones.

Where’s Sacha?

Buried on the Globe’s website.

Just for the record: Sacha looked very nice Sunday night.

 

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Special bonus: Sacha’s tweet from the Globes:

 

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Hey, Globeniks: What does it say when the hardreading staff has to step in to do justice?


Boston Globe Turns ‘Spotlight’ Onto Itself

December 1, 2014

From our Walt Whitman desk

Naked self-promotion is normally the exclusive province of the Boston Herald hereabouts, but yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe gave the flirty local tabloid a run for its money with this Spotlight selfie.

Globe reporters tell their ‘Spotlight’ stories

For months in late 2001, the Globe’s Spotlight Team chipped away in secret at a story that at first seemed unimaginable — that a succession of cardinals and bishops in the Boston Catholic Archdiocese had for decades covered up the sexual abuse of countless children by priests. In many cases, Church leaders took no action to deny their Roman-collared child molesters access to children.

When the Globe began documenting the extensive abuse and the cover-up in January 2002, the story Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 1.25.04 AMexploded, first in Boston, then nationally and in countries around the world. In the Boston Archdiocese alone, an estimated 200 priests abused children. Nationally, it is at least 7,000 priests. The escalating disclosures continue, and have shaken the very foundation of the Church.

In September, director Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “Win Win”) and a cast of Hollywood names including Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Stanley Tucci began shooting a movie titled “Spotlight,’’ about the Globe’s investigation. The filmmakers used locations in Boston and in Toronto, where they re-created the Globe newsroom and the Spotlight Team’s offices. With camerawork expected to wrap in the Bay State on Sunday, the film is scheduled for release late next year.

 

Video here!

Oddly, Kathleen Conti’s Globe South/West piece in yesterday’s edition about the financial value of local movie productions failed to spotlight Spotlight.

 

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Maybe because most of the film was shot in Toronto?

Not to get technical about it.