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'PRIEST' MOVIE SPARKS BOYCOTT OF DISNEY

A Catholic group and an anti-abortion organization teamed up Tuesday to boycott Walt Disney Co., whose subsidiary Miramax Films released the controversial movie "Priest."

"If you're going to be a provider of smut, you cannot be a trusted provider of entertainment for children," said Judie Brown, president of the anti-abortion American Life League, based in Stafford, Va.

Saying the movie insults Catholics, both the Life League and the secular Catholic League said they plan to boycott all Disney products, the Disney Channel, Disney World and Disneyland. They also plan to wage a letter campaign.

"Priest" depicts five fictional priests, two of whom are sexually active -- one gay and one heterosexual.

The Life League wants Disney to fire chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, remove the movie from distribution in theaters and on video and "apologize to every Christian in the country."

The Catholic League succeeded last week in pressuring Miramax to delay the nationwide opening of "Priest" from Good Friday, April 14, to April 19. But the group still is pressing for Disney to disavow itself from the movie.

Disney consistently has declined comment, refering queries to Miramax, maker of the award-winner "Pulp Fiction."

Mark Gill, marketing president for Miramax, said Tuesday Miramax is autonomous from its parent Disney and while it has changed the release date, it will make no more concessions.

"We believe in this movie and believe it is a portrait of real life," he said. The response from many Catholics who have seen the movie, which opened in New York and Los Angeles last Friday, has been mostly favorable, he said.

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