The movie production company that made the film ‘Spotlight‘, which deals with the exposing of a Catholic church cover up of widespread pedophilia by priests in the Boston archdiocese by The Boston Globe newspaper in the early 2000’s, has defended as ‘accurate’ its depiction of Boston College press officer Jack Dunn.
In the movie, Dunn, portrayed in his role as a public relations officer, is seen dismissing allegations of sexual abuse by religious teachers at Catholic church-run Boston High School as ‘a witch hunt’, implying the allegations, which had been secretly admitted by the Church, were malicious and invented.
Dunn attended Boston High and sat on its board. In the scene, Dunn, along with senior teachers at the school, is being interviewed by reporters from the Globe when Dunn made his ‘witch hunt’ remark.
The presentation put him alongside Cardinal Bernard Law and other senior Boston clerics in the gallery of Church rogues who concealed the widespread abuse, often by making financial deals with the parents of molested children. As in Ireland, offending priests were often transferred to other parishes but no-one was told why, least of all the new congregations.
In the past week or so Jack Dunn has embarked on a personal public relations offensive in an effort to repair his damaged reputation. Using his widespread media contacts in Boston, and starting with Kevin Cullen of The Boston Globe, he has endeavoured to stir up media sympathy for his case.
Claiming he was so upset when he watched the movie that he vomited, Dunn insists that he never said any of the things the movie says he did. He has threatened to take legal action against the studio, although his chances of success are widely regarded as slim to non-existent.
So far, the largely Boston-driven media coverage has failed to note Dunn’s controversial role in Boston College’s decision to hand over confidential Northern Ireland paramilitary interviews to the police in Northern Ireland.
Dunn’s role was largely to badmouth myself and the IRA researcher, Anthony McIntyre who had strongly criticised BC’s failure to stand up for the interviewees in Ireland. As chronicled by thebrokenelbow.com yesterday, Dunn told brazen and outrageous lies on behalf of Boston College, which makes his current predicament one of this episode’s great ironies.
Yesterday the producers of ‘Spotlight‘, issued a statement standing over the movie’s depiction of Jack Dunn as ‘accurate’.
Open Road, in a statement issued to the Hollywood-based website, The Wrap, said that it had reviewed the offending scene and ‘had concluded that the footage in question…..reflected the substance of what occurred during this initial interview at BC High.‘
In a statement to TheWrap, an Open Road spokesperson said the film is “based on extensive interviews and other research performed by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy.
“Based on that research, we believe it’s an accurate portrayal of the Boston Globe’s investigation of the Catholic Church.
“The production believes in everyone’s right to speak their minds on the complicated legacy of this important story. Jack Dunn is no exception. However, we disagree with his characterization of the scene as misleading.”
The production company went on to say that both Robinson and Pfeiffer reviewed the footage in question and said the it reflected “the substance of what occurred during this initial interview at BC High.”