If you live in Buffalo, N.Y., you might recognize the name “Michael Calleri.” Calleri worked for seven years as a film critic for the local newspaper The Niagara Falls Reporter, but he recently left his job not long after a new publisher and editor-in-chief took over the paper.
While the fact Calleri left his job isn’t necessarily newsworthy, his reason for it is. Calleri posted a lengthy editorial explaining the reasons for his departure on the Chicago Sun-Times website, courtesy of Roger Ebert, and it turns out that the longtime film critic had found himself increasingly censored by the new publisher in charge, Frank Parlato.
When he confronted Parlato about it, Calleri’s superior explained via email that he has “a deep moral objection to publishing reviews of films that offend me.” This time, that film was “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which apparently is “moral garbage” and features “a lot of fuzzy feminist thinking and pandering to creepy hollywood mores produced by metrosexual imbeciles.” Yes, really — and it gets worse.
Here is the full email, as Calleri published it on the Chicago Sun-Times website:
Michael; I know you are committed to writing your reviews, and put a lot of effort into them. it is important for you to have the right publisher. i may not be it. i have a deep moral objection to publishing reviews of films that offend me. snow white and the huntsman is such a film. when my boys were young i would never have allowed them to go to such a film for i believe it would injure their developing manhood. if i would not let my own sons see it, why would i want to publish anything about it?
snow white and the huntsman is trash. moral garbage. a lot of fuzzy feminist thinking and pandering to creepy hollywood mores produced by metrosexual imbeciles.
I don’t want to publish reviews of films where women are alpha and men are beta.
where women are heroes and villains and men are just lesser versions or shadows of females.
i believe in manliness.
not even on the web would i want to attach my name to snow white and the huntsman except to deconstruct its moral rot and its appeal to unmanly perfidious creeps.
i’m not sure what headhunter has to offer either but of what I read about it it sounds kind of creepy and morally repugnant.
with all the publications in the world who glorify what i find offensive, it should not be hard for you to publish your reviews with any number of these.
they seem to like critiques from an artistic standpoint without a word about the moral turpitude seeping into the consciousness of young people who go to watch such things as snow white and get indoctrinated to the hollywood agenda of glorifying degenerate power women and promoting as natural the weakling, hyena -like men, cum eunuchs.
the male as lesser in courage strength and power than the female.
it may be ok for some but it is not my kind of manliness.
If you care to write reviews where men act like good strong men and have a heroic inspiring influence on young people to build up their character (if there are such movies being made) i will be glad to publish these.
i am not interested in supporting the reversing of traditional gender roles.
i don’t want to associate the Niagara Falls Reporter with the trash of Hollywood and their ilk.
it is my opinion that hollywood has robbed america of its manliness and made us a nation of eunuchs who lacking all manliness welcome in the coming police state.
now i realize that you have a relationship with the studios etc. and i would have been glad to have discussed this in person with you to help you segue into another relationship with a publication but inasmuch as we spent 50 minutes on the phone from paris i did not want to take up more of your time.
In short i don’t care to publish reviews of films that offend me.
if you care to condemn the filmmakers as the pandering weasels that they are…. true hyenas.
i would be interested in that….
For his part, publisher Parlato posted a response to the article in the comments section below it. His lengthy post clarifies his statements and explains why his email was so poorly punctuated (“I did not punctuate it as one would for publication. That said, I stand behind what I wrote.”) and the fact that Calleri was not a full-time employee of the Reporter, but rather “a guy who likes to go to movies, about 20 times a week.” Here’s an excerpt of his response, which you can find below Calleri’s editorial:
One of the problems with Calleri’s writing and probably the main reason his movie reviews were hardly read is that he lacks the fundamentals in sound thinking or logic.
He misunderstood the email and leaps to several hasty conclusions.
I might remind the reader that the email does not say I would not consider reviews of films where men and women are both shown in an inspiring light. I am simply not interested in films that demean men. I am also uninterested in reviews of films that demean women.
I did not say that women should have less courage or strength than a man. I merely said I do not have an interest in publishing reviews of films that depict men as weaker, dumber, more cowardly or lower than women. In other words, no male bashing. And, consequently, no female bashing.
Violence, vulgarity, gender bashing, moronic sex acts on the screen, racial bashing, violent women, violent men, promiscuous men and women are the common fare of Hollywood fed not only to adults but to young people.
I mean who but a moron would want his young children watching the kind of filth and violence shown (and gleefully reviewed) by Hollywood every day?
I have no interest in reviewing such movies.
So, what do you think readers? Are you surprised by this level of censorship at a local paper? Do you think Calleri or Parlato make valid points? And was “Snow White and the Huntsman” really all that emasculating for men? Let us know your take.