Spike Lee and Phelim McAleer are both film-makers who’ve both achieved something unique: each has successfully raised $1.4 million to finance his movie through crowdfunding – a campaign seeking donations from the public. But Spike Lee is famous and established, with a net worth of $40 million. Phelim McAleer isn’t. So it’s a bit odd that the networks took note when Lee (a famous, if not household name) did it, but not when McAleer overcame greater odds to reach that number. Well, it would be odd, except that McAleer is trying to fund a movie about abortionist Kermit Gosnell – America’s “most prolific serial killer,” and the media’s most ignored story.
With 16 days left, the Gosnell movie raised over $1.4 million with 14,500 funders – closing in on the $2.1 million needed to produce the story of abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell. The Gosnell Movie has beaten Lee's total in a shorter period of time with over twice the number of backers.
During their weekly news shows, ABC, CBS and NBC mentioned Spike Lee’s psychological blood thriller on Kickstarter six times in 2013. The project earned a total of $1,418,910 with 6,421 funders. The nets adore the idea of raising money from the public for projects, and referenced crowdfunding (including mentions of Kickstarter and Indiegogo) 55 times in the past two years.
But the Gosnell movie failed to make their cut – or rather, meet their agenda.
Headed by McAleer and wife Ann McElhinney, the Gosnell campaign reached $500,000 on April 9 and $1 million on April 19. The project would result in a scripted drama based on abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s trial and grand jury report.
Abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted last May of murdering babies in his Philadelphia clinic. Only 12-15 reporters attended the trial, in which witnesses described baby abortion survivors “swimming” in toilets. Not until after public pressure and letters from members of the House of Representatives did all three broadcast networks cover the story.
According to a previous statement by McElhinney, the fundraising success of the Gosnell project will cause Hollywood and the media to “pay attention.” “People are angry with them for ignoring the news and the truth,” she stressed.
The husband-and-wife team turned to Indiegogo to raise funds when similar crowdfunded site Kickstarter complained the project described babies “stabbed to death.” Kickstarter’s initial refusal to allow the Gosnell project surfaced as hypocritical in comparison to other projects permitted on the site. Those included “After Tiller,” a documentary empathizing with the last four third-trimester abortionists in the United States.
— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.