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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

"Unplanned" Goes to Capitol Hill

The writer/director team of this pro-life Christian film will testify about possible censorship efforts by tech companies.

Chuck Konzelman, Ashley Bratcher & Cary Solomon at a premiere of "Unplanned." Image from Instagram.

Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, the co-writers and co-directors of Unplanned, will appear today before a U.S. Senate subcommittee chaired by Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R). Called "Stifling Free Speech: Technology Censorship and the Public Discourse," the hearing will examine whether tech giants have actively tried to suppress the pro-life film's message. In addition to the filmmakers, representatives of Google, Facebook and Twitter have been asked to testify.

That latter company raised eyebrows on Unplanned's opening weekend when it temporarily suspended the film's account for some alleged violation of usage policy. The number of followers also inexplicably dropped to virtually nothing and many people, including lead actress Ashley Bratcher, claimed they were unable to follow the Twitter account for some time once it was restored.

Unplanned tells the true story of Abby Johnson, a former abortion clinic director who became an outspoken right-to-life advocate. It shines a bright light on the morally abhorrent and dubious ethical practices of her former employer, abortion business behemoth, Planned Parenthood.

Senator Cruz tells the Hollywood Reporter that efforts to suppress the film are no surprise. That, however, does not mean they should be tolerated.

"Big tech's attempted censorship of (Johnson's) story during it's opening weekend is deeply troubling and revealing. I have repeatedly asked tech companies for basic data on how many voices on their social platforms are silenced and to what extent it is politically targeted."

In addition to the Twitter shutdown, several TV networks and Google refused to sell advertising space to the film. For writer/director Chuck Konzelman, it is all simply standard operating procedure in America's left-wing-controlled media landscape.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's part of a systematic bias against conservative media."

Despite all the apparent attempts at suppression, the pro-life message of Unplanned will not be silenced: it is off to a very strong start. Through Tuesday, April 9 - after just 11 days in release - it had already brought in $13.4 million at the box office, according to The Numbers. With a production budget of only $6 million, the film is on its way to significant financial success.


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