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TV networks are refusing to sell ads for pro-life movie 'Unplanned'

'We were looking to spend money, but they didn't want to get involved'

A still from the movie "Unplanned." (Photo courtesy of Unplannedfilm.com)

The pro-life movie "Unplanned" is facing another obstacle in sharing the story of a former Planned Parenthood executive who became a pro-life advocate—major networks are refusing to sell ads for the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Marketers for the movie told The Hollywood Reporter that they've contacted numerous networks that have refused to take their advertising money for various reasons: The Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, HGTV, Lifetime, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, and USA Network.

"We were looking to spend money, but they didn't want to get involved," producer John Sullivan told THR.

What's going on here? Part of the problem is tied to an earlier obstacle "Unplanned" has been dealing with: An R rating that many think is undeserved. The MPAA rated assigned the rating for "some disturbing/bloody images."

Not only will that rating likely scare off some families in the targeted Christian audience, but it is also being cited by some of the networks and radio stations as a reason for rejecting the advertising.

From a previous Hollywood Reporter article on the subject:

The MPAA told Pure Flix that the most problematic scene featured a doctor gazing at a computer screen that shows the image of a fetus as the abortion is completed. The doctor in the scene is real-life Dr. Anthony Levatino, who says he has performed about 1,200 abortions over the years. "

The portrayal of a live, moving fetus disappearing is very accurate," Levatino said. "You're watching an abortion. It's an accurate view of what's happening. It's disturbing if you recognize it's a human life.

Some networks cited the "sensitive nature" of the movie's subject matter in turning down ads. Others said they didn't want to touch the political nature of the topic.

"Most of the networks didn't go into detail beyond citing the subject matter of the film and that they didn't want to get into politics," producer Joe Knopp said. "But we don't believe we're in the political category."

They're having trouble with music, too: Several major music labels refused to license mainstream music for the movie, including Disney, Universal, Sony, and Round Hill Music.

"Unplanned" premiers in theaters Friday, March 29.

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