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BURRISS ON MEDIA; Local Film Controversy

Dr. Larry Burriss

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS)  --  Remember all those cute school assemblies and plays where the children were in adult roles? They pretended to graduate from school, drive cars, have jobs, get married, and sometimes even have children. Almost everyone talked about how cute the kids were.

Now, a movie, titled “Miracles on Honey Bee Hill,” written and directed by M-T-S-U professor Bob Pondillo, using a bunch of cute children pretending to be adults, is stirring up controversy. By way of background, it’s important to know that the parents of each of the child actors read the script for the movie, gave permission for their children to participate, and were on the set when the movie was being shot.

So what’s the problem? Well, the movie has an actor who plays God, and that probably upset some folks. But the main part of the story involves two people who want to get married. But of course, we’ve probably all seen those kinds of movies and plays, where kids act like they are getting married. And we all thought they were really, really cute.

Oh, but did I mention that the couple who wants to get married is gay? Well, that certainly puts a different spin on the play and the children. Or does it? After all, there is no sex or violence, and nowhere in the movie will you hear the word “gay.” The words “kindness,” and “forgiveness” are prominently featured.

As you might guess, there has been some pushback against the film, but Pondillo has gotten support from both the University and the Tennessee Board of Regents. Officials at both organizations have cited both the First Amendment and academic freedom.

I’ve seen a lot of violent horror films that use child actors, and no one seems to complain about those children being exploited. Just one more example of the double standard that so many folks have about what they see and hear in the media today.

I’m Larry Burriss.