Drafthouse in Hot Water Again Over Association With Devin Faraci
Update: Faraci resigns, company to begin employee outreach
By Richard Whittaker,
2:15PM, Wed. Sep. 13, 2017
Update 10:25pm: Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League confirmed in a statement this evening that he and Devin Faraci talked today, and he has accepted Faraci's permanent resignation from the company.
In a letter to Drafthouse staff that he shared today via Facebook, League wrote, "Our company values the ability to reflect on our actions both individually and as a team. I have reflected a great deal, and I welcome the opportunity to speak with each of you, to listen, and to provide the opportunity for further reflection." He continued that all staff will receive an invitation to a series of upcoming small group discussions.
Original Story: The Alamo Drafthouse is at the center of a controversy with the confirmation that Devin Faraci, who stepped down as editor of Drafthouse film magazine Birth.Movies.Death last year after sexual assault allegations, is back with the company.
Faraci has long been a polarizing figure within the film community. Fans and many co-workers adored what they saw as his acidic, no-holds-barred approach to cinema and politics. However, many other readers saw him as needlessly abrasive, insulting, and often unprofessional in his approach to filmmakers, fellow critics, and anyone who challenged him on his notoriously vitriolic Twitter feed (as covered in detail by Nick Monroe at Medium).
However, the final straw came last October, when he stepped down from BMD after sexual assault allegations were leveled against him, first by a fellow film writer, then by other women who had their own stories.
Faraci quit as editor-in-chief, as confirmed at the time in a brief statement by editorial director Meredith Borders. After that, the L.A.-based writer basically disappeared from the film scene.
The initial discovery of Faraci's current involvement with the Drafthouse came from film podcaster George Hickman, who tweeted on Monday that Faraci had written several film descriptions for the upcoming Fantastic Fest brochure.
Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League made a lengthy statement on Facebook about the matter, confirming that Faraci is back at the Drafthouse as a copywriter. He wrote, "I understand there's some discomfort with the idea that Devin is once again employed by the Alamo Drafthouse. However, I am very much an advocate for granting people second chances, and I believe that Devin deserves one. He continues to confront his issues and to better himself with the help of his friends and family. I am proud to consider myself a part of this process." He also confirmed that Faraci has no involvement with Birth.Movies.Death, is not in a leadership position in the Alamo Drafthouse or at Fantastic Fest, and will not be attending Fantastic Fest this year.
Now the Drafthouse and League are facing both support and opposition. There has been some positive response to League giving Faraci, who he said is taking his personal rehabilitation very seriously, a second chance. However, there has also been significant outrage about bringing him back into the fold after such a public and scandal-wracked departure, including major questions about how long the gap between his departure and rehiring was.
Faraci's return is already having consequences, with public discussions about boycotts of both Fantastic Fest and the Alamo Drafthouse chain of movie theatres, and the message this move sends to assault victims, women, and anyone within the industry who was a previous target of Faraci's vitriol. Telluride Horror Show programmer Brad McHargue tweeted that XYZ Films founder and Fantastic Fest director of international programming Todd Brown has now severed ties with the festival. Brown confirmed this via Facebook, and confirmed that he had been left in the dark about Faraci's return. He wrote, "It is very hard to conclude that anyone involved was unaware of how callous this decision was and what the reaction would be if it were made public. They knew. They’ve known for months and kept it hidden for months. They just didn’t care enough to do any different. I am embarrassed and ashamed to have been any part of this apparatus and I choose now to leave it."