Many movies are screening at Fantastic Fest later this month, but “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is no longer one of them. Variety reports that Fox Searchlight has decided to pull Martin McDonagh’s new film from the Austin-based fest in light of the controversy that erupted around its parent company, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, earlier this week.
It was revealed on Tuesday that Devin Faraci, who stepped down as editor-in-chief of Alamo’s Birth.Movies.Death following sexual-assault allegations last year, had quietly been rehired by the company as a copywriter months later and even written blurbs for this year’s edition of the festival. This ignited further controversy, prompting Faraci to depart Alamo once more — presumably for good this time.
“In light of recent events, the makers of ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,’ have decided not to participate in Fantastic Fest,” said a representative from Searchlight in a statement to Variety. They did not comment further. “Three Billboards” concerns the aftermath of a young woman’s rape and murder, which may have factored into the decision.
Todd Brown, who had served as a programmer at Fantastic Fest for 11 years, resigned in protest when he learned that Faraci had been rehired. This year’s festival runs from September 21-28.