He’s America’s “biggest serial killer,” though hardly anyone recognizes his name: Dr. Kermit Gosnell. But an independent filmmaker plans to change that by challenging the media through a grassroots fundraiser.
A campaign headed by filmmaker Phelim McAleer, along with wife Ann McElhinney and Magdalena Segieda, hopes to raise $2.1 million in 45 days to tell the story of Kermit Gosnell – a story well hidden by the media. Their company, Hat Tip Productions, will produce a scripted drama based on the abortionist’s trial and the grand jury report. Having already faced opposition from internet fundraiser Kickstarter, which placed restrictions on describing Gosnell, the team turned to site Indiegogo to ask for support from the public.
Kermit Gosnell was convicted in May of first-degree murder of three babies. The trial, in which witnesses described baby abortion survivors “swimming" in toilets “trying to get out,” attracted merely 12 – 15 reporters. Only after 56 days, multiple letters from members of the House of Representatives and a public outcry from conservative groups, did all three broadcast networks report on Gosnell.
McAleer deemed Kickstarter’s actions, “particularly odious and alarming because they are an attempt to censor factual descriptions of a serial killer’s actions.” In the past, the Phelim McAleer team garnered media applause for successfully producing the controversial documentary film “FrackNation” via Kickstarter.
But from the very beginning, the team acknowledged challenges to the new Gosnell project – particularly from the media. The Indiegogo statement called the lack of public knowledge on “America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” a “frightening testament to the power of the media.”
“This is your chance to bypass the media ‘information gatekeepers’ to get tens of millions of Americans thinking about what happened in Philadelphia,” the message continued.
The team stressed how even convicted murderer Jodi Arias boasts a movie and noted how:
The mainstream media or Hollywood don't think this is a story. Even though Gosnell killed more people than Gary Ridgeway, John Wayne Gacey, The Zodiac Killer and Ted Bundy combined. In a 30 year killing spree, it is thought he killed 1000s of babies. And that wasn't a national story?
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The campaign aims to beat the largest “crowd funded” film (the teen detective Veronica Mars movie), which asked for 2.1 million and raised 5.7 million. The Indiegogo site explained, “We think the Gosnell movie is more important, we think you do too.”
To gain publicity and raise money, the campaign is hosting a Twitterfest from 12-2pm and 8-9pm on March 31 for the #gosnellmovie.
— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.