Florida man asks judge to order Salem horror-movie series to show his movie
A former Salem-area man who is now a full-time Florida Man says the decision of the organizer of a Salem horror-movie series to ban most movies from Florida and Texas in protest over their LGBTQ laws and policies is a horrendous violation of his civil rights - and Constitutional protection of interstate commerce - so he's suing.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Michael Malott of Cape Coral, FL, charges the Salem Horror Fest is being "grossly negligent, ill intended, hateful" in refusing to show his latest horror movie just because he lives in Florida and he is not LGBTQI nor are his actors - and never mind that he never actually tried to enter his movie in the series to begin with.
Salem Horror Fest organizer Kay Lynch announced in April:
Please note that we will not be accepting any film submissions from Texas or Florida unless they feature LGBTQI+ content or creators. No exceptions.
How dare they discriminate against all the residents of those states, Malott thundered in his self-written complaint, which brings up how Lynch refers to herself and states that while he will attempt to refer to her in the feminine form, he will use the masculine if need be. On his Web page, Malott, who says he graduated law school, acknowledges he never actually tried to submit the movie for the film series.
Defendant is openly violating the federally protected civil rights of filmmakers in two entire states and is doing such in bad faith and in violation of federal statute and law and defendant is no doubt being a public accommodation being a public movie theatre, open to the general public. Further defendant is interfering with the laws and statutes governing interstate commerce, as defendant is negligently denying fair access to trade and businesses of these states with protections and rights federal laws and statute provide.
Malott wants a judge to issue an injunction that would essentially force the film series to accept all movies from Texas and Florida right away. Longer term, he is seeking unspecified damages for the alleged damage done to his income and reputation, and says he will soon file a class-action suit on behalf of all Texas and Florida horror movie producers.
First, though, he is asking a judge to let him proceed in forma pauperis, so he doesn't have to pay any court filing fees.
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Sounds like a local personage.
What lunacy envelopes the world? Are we in some astrological permanent House of the Full Moon?
Suing in Federal court even though there are no actual damages. Reasoning that interstate commerce laws mandate that any organization have to show any film, even if a film is not submitted. Neglecting as well that the Supreme Court gave carte blanche to any organization when it ruled in the infamous Southie parade that law could NOT stop them from discriminating for any reason because they were a private organization.
And ... this is so rich. He wants to sue despite no actual damages meanwhile claiming he is a pauper and therefore has a right to sue with paying court fees.
Is there a theme park in Florida called Wacko World where whack-a-mole pseudo legal eagles are born? Or something the waters of Florida? There is the story of Ponce de Leon searching for the Fountain of Eternal Youth. Perhaps what he actually found is the Font of Perpetual Fools.
Evidence suggests that it's the entire state.
I’ll now go to said Salem “Horror Movie Series” because they banned movies from Florida and Texas. Bravo!
It's the Streisand Effect.
They make you sit through a satanist convocation first.
He says he graduated law
He says he graduated law school, but any 1L knows you need to establish standing, i.e., show that you were actually harmed. If he didn't bother to submit it, there's no harm. To say nothing of the fact that film fests, as private organizations, can pretty much set any submission requirements they like. Did he order his law school diploma online?
And if you can scrounge up the money to make your crappy horror movie (and I watched the trailer, it looks like garbage), you can scrounge up the money to pay a filing fee.
Going out on a limb here: the
Going out on a limb here: the purpose of this lawsuit is to publicize his movies among fellow MAGAs by portraying himself as a True Constitutional Patriot Fighting Against Evil Satanic LGBTQ Trans Nazis, not any particular legal outcome.
Big Hat, No Cattle
Why did he even bother? There is no case there. IANAL but even I can see that.
They didn't submit so they
They didn't submit so they have no standing for this. Case dismissed.
I don't agree with banning people from both states, it seems unfair to those who don't support those crazy policies and have worked against those policies. It's one thing when you ban big business and conventions but for small projects it makes me uneasy. That being said, Florida man doesn't make a great case for why people from his state should be allowed to enter with this crazy lawsuit
Overall the film maker is looking for buzz and attention and saw this.
Totally agree, there's a big
Totally agree, there's a big problem with leftists in safely blue states punishing whole states for the actions of 60% (and considering gerrymandering, probably less than 60%). Leftists in red states work really hard and are always making an effort and then get shit on by people up in Boston who didn't even bother to vote "because Maura Healey's going to win anyway"
Show your work
Where, exactly is your proof this guy is doing great work fighting for LGBTQ people in Florida? Yeah, he made a documentary about Ron DeSantis's killer Covid-19 policies, but that's not exactly an LGBTQ-specific thing.
The film festival's state policy is that it will consider entries from LGBTQ directors or films with LGBTQ actors, which would seem to be something you'd endorse, but his film has neither.
Ok I'll say it...
I'm no expert on federal civil rights law, but I would think that putting a disclaimer on your film festival which excludes a protected class (sexual orientation) would be a violation of ones civil rights?
Instead of wording it like:
Why not say: "We will be looking at content which favors LGBTQI+ over traditional horror genre content in this festival".
But again I'm no expert, it is private organization and maybe they can just say "no black directors allowed" or something to that extent too. Similar to the cake people in Kentucky who refused protected class customers, or the Southie parade people who excluded LGBTQI groups.
Doesn't one need to be a
Doesn't one need to be a protected class for it to be a civil rights matter?
You can't discriminate based on sexual orientation. Which would mean you wouldn't be able to discriminate against straight people. I know 99.9% of these cases do not go that way, but a protective class isn't simply someone who is LGBTQI. It is discriminating against someone based on their sexual identity or orientation.
A very incomplete statement
Where Federal civil rights laws there is some, emphasis on some, protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Even that is not consistent from district and circuit to another.
Most states do not have law prohibiting discrimination for any reason against Gays and Lesbians, etc. Where Federal law is not applicable, in majority of states discrimination against homosexuals on that basis is legal.
Is this situation discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation? A good question and one worth considering. However, the current Supreme Court has effectively given the go ahead to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. While the current majority pretends to hide behind issues of freedom of expression, they have told us that they are beholden to religious beliefs and don't give a flying fish about either the Constitution, previous Court decisions or the nation as a whole.
And making a stink about that is the guys real purpose even if he isn't going to anywhere with the court case.
I agree with the sentiment of the Salem folks but it does seem misguided. Plenty of people in those states are furious about the policies their governors are implementing. It's not their fault people they didn't vote for are doing things they oppose.
It's not a good thing if people just start outright banning people from states with politics they don't like.
When we have the local case of the Southie parade.
We have a local case where the Supreme Court of the time ruled that the organizers of the Southie parade could choose and exclude whoever they wanted to march in the parade. This situation is the same.
The current Supreme Court effectively already ruled for the organization. This is a private organization engaged in artistic endeavors. Based on the previous and current Court rulings government can not dictate to them what they may or may not do where free speech or expression is concerned.
The court mentioned specifically "parades" being a form of expression which has 1st Amendment protections. Maybe a "film festival" is in the same ballpark as a "parade?" Maybe not though either.
The Court also ruled that the parade could ban "groups" or "messages" but did not go so far as to mention "individuals". The man in the film case is an "individual".
So not exactly the same. We won't know until a group of biased judges decide.
Here is a quote by Justice Souter in this Southie case,
Without the fluffery of legal language to add gravitas, the statement is the same as, "The ruling basically affirmed the principle, whoever pays the piper calls the tune."
The decision was not restricted to parades, or even a parade. This was a general ruling concerning the relationship of government to a non-government entity.
The Court's majority has already set a policy that there is no distinction between an individual and an organization. Citizen's United is the most recent decision that affirms not distinction or difference.
And considering that the Donald Trump's corporation was convicted in New York of violating crimes...it is a peculiar, even just absurd concept, but legally there is no difference.
I'm googling just like you are....
So they couldn't have banned the individuals? In a parade? That has been ruled "private" an not a part of Boston political history?
Go to the Federal Court house on days they have Civil Rights cases Daan. There are a lot more than you think. I think Adam reads the docket and reprints it here sometimes. It can be very interesting. In fact the Civil Rights cases are ones federal prosecutors lose the most.