Add “Tom Hanks” to “abortion” and “homosexuality” on the “List of Things Catholics, Mormons, and Right-Wing Pundits Hate.”
In case you’ve been submerged in a life sized snowglobe for the past nine months, Hanks is the star of THE DA VINCI CODE, a film that has drawn the ire of Catholic officials.
Catholic online Web site site www.catholic.org reports on protests over the film’s release, quoting Norman Fulkerson of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) , “We stand here today because THE DA VINCI CODE attacks the Divinity of Christ, the Papacy and the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church. It’s time to say enough is enough. We repudiate this public blasphemy. Hollywood has no right to defame the adorable Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Less public has been Hanks’ role as as Executive Producer of HBO’s BIG LOVE. In the article “Latter-day Saint/Mormon Characters in the HBO series BIG LOVE” (on the Web site www.ldsfilm.com), an anonymous writer posits, “Although Big Love is ostensibly about polygamy, much of its subject matter and themes are actually a veneer for presenting the non-LDS writers’ GLBT themes and gay apologia.”
The Church of LDS itself, which generally refrains from commenting on media productions issued this press release to set matters straight, clarifing the Chrurch’s stance on polygamy. The LDS dismissed the show thus: “BIG LOVE, like so much other television programming, is essentially lazy and indulgent entertainment that does nothing for our society and will never nourish great minds.” (Incidentally, this premise is debunked by Steven Johnson in his excellent book Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter)
Ultra right-wing Web site www.pipelinenews.org is putting the full court press on Mr. Hanks. first calling HBO’s BIG LOVE “an attack on Christianity, but a cleverly veiled one,” before accusing Hanks of “join[ing] the leftist attack on traditional American culture.”
Thomas Fredericksen weaves a full Dan Brown-esque conspiracy warning that “there is more to come…Hanks and his Playtone Pictures partner Gary Goetzman have other offerings planned…CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR…a film based upon … a lunatic work of fiction written by 60 Minutes producer George Crile.”
What does Hanks have to say about all of this? He thinks the detrators doth protest too much:
Oscar-winner Hanks said objectors to THE DA VINCI CODE are taking the film too seriously, telling the Evening Standard: “We always knew there would be a segment of society that would not want this movie to be shown.
“But the story we tell is loaded with all sorts of hooey and fun kind of scavenger-hunt-type nonsense.
“If you are going to take any sort of movie at face value, particularly a huge-budget motion picture like this, you’d be making a very big mistake.
“It’s a damn good story and a lot of fun… all it is is dialogue. That never hurts.”