The Vue Cinema chain has cancelled a private screening of a religious documentary film that promotes so-called ‘conversion therapy’.
The evangelical organisation Christian Concern had booked the Vue cinema in London’s Piccadilly Circus for the screening, which was due to take place today.
But Vue axed the event when the subject matter of the film, called Voices Of The Silenced: Experts, Evidences And Ideologies, came to light.
The film has been directed and produced by Mike Davidson, the CEO of the Core Issues Trust, a Christian organisation which claims to offer ‘reparative therapy’ to gay Christians.
“Vue review all private screening bookings once content and full details have been received in full,” it said in a statement.
“While it is not our intention to censor content, in some instances where we feel an activity is in direct contradiction to Vue’s values a decision will be made to refrain from allowing a private event to go ahead.
“Vue has therefore cancelled a private event request by Core Issues Trust and Christian Concern due to the event endorsing and promoting a ‘cure’ to being gay.”
According to Davidson, the film is not ‘hateful’, and he called Vue’s decision ‘appalling’.
“I really don’t see what their problem is,” he told ITV News.
“This is not anything that is hateful, it’s about representing the needs and aspirations of a group in the population who are underrepresented, misunderstood and frankly poorly treated in society. We think this is an appalling way for Vue to treat anybody.”
The Core Issues Trust was also behind adverts which appeared on London buses in 2012 offering its therapies, before being banned by then London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Davidson also caused controversy following an appearance on Good Morning Britain last September to speak about gay conversion therapy.
Ofcom recorded 1142 complaints, the most of any TV broadcast in 2017.
Lord Black of Brentwood has spoken in support of the screening’s cancellation.
“It is appalling that propaganda for so-called ‘gay conversion therapy’ should be being screened here in London,” he told Pink News.
“This wicked practice has been almost universally disavowed by the medical profession and is now rightly illegal in many countries.
“It should be here too – and the screening of this hateful film, fuelling homophobia and prejudice, adds to that overwhelming case.”
Davidson, meanwhile, has said that legal action against Vue Cinemas is being considered.
“It’s with [our] lawyers,” he said.
“They’re saying it’s been cancelled, or whatever their wording is. They have to take into the account the 126 people who have made arrangements.”