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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

"Unplanned" Faces Bias from the Music Industry

The Christian pro-life film has requests to license songs rejected over and over again.

Ashley Bratcher and Abby Johnson on set during filming of "Unplanned."

Due out this spring, Unplanned tells the true story of the transformation of Abby Johnson from an abortion clinic director into an outspoken pro-life advocate. Written and directed by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, the team behind God's Not Dead, this film is based on Johnson's book and stars Christian actress Ashley Bratcher as Johnson.

That people who rule the roost in Hollywood are hostile to the pro-life cause is well known. Another movie currently in production with a pro-life take - Roe v. Wade - lost shooting locations and had cast and crew quit over its message. And Solomon and Konzelman shot Unplanned in secret to avoid potential trouble from pro-abortion extremists.

It has now become clear that the music industry is no different. Blake Kanicka, who oversees the music for this film, tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview that many of the largest companies in the business, including Sony/ATV, Universal Music and Disney, refused to license songs for the movie.

"There was a pattern of denial with our quote requests. Our team has never seen such a uniform denial across the board regardless of price, genre, usage or type."

Disney was the most direct in its refusal, explaining it "does not take sides in such social issues regardless of what side is being promoted." The others were less forthcoming as to the reasons for rejection, but Kanicka, a Grammy-nominated composer whose work has been featured on television shows, is certain it's because of the film's position on abortion.

"After weeks, and in some cases months, of communicating with these companies, it has been very discouraging and disheartening to realize the amount of discrimination that exists towards the pro-life message."

Composing original music, as opposed to licensing existing songs, is of course the alternative. Unplanned, with what is no doubt a mostly orignial soundtrack, will debut in theaters nationwide on March 29th.


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