Assemblywoman Told She Can't Screen "Spotlight" at Capitol

By Ken Lovett
New York Daily News
April 4, 2016

Margaret Markey

Here is the the lead item from my "Albany Insider" column this morning:

A state assemblywoman’s desire to use Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight” to boost her fight to help child sexual abuse victims has run into a roadblock—her own chamber’s leadership.

Assembly Democratic leaders are refusing to allow Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) from holding a screening of the film at the Capitol complex during a two-day lobbying effort in May to build support for her bill to make it easier for people sexually abused as kids to bring lawsuits as adults.

Markey’s office, which received a Blueray copy of this year’s Best Picture winner that chronicles the Boston Globe’s investigation into sexual abuse by priests, was originally told it was a copyright issue.

Since then, Markey aide Michael Armstrong says he paid $200 to the film’s distributor for a license to show it one-time in a legislative hearing room.

But that is still not enough for Assembly leadership, who now say it’s about precedent.

Cast of the movie "Spotlight"

“It’s just not something we do on government property,” said Michael Whyland, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “It would open the door to showing all sorts of things that some people might find objectionable, not that “Spotlight” is. We just don’t want to go down that road.”

“It’s just a better policy not to show these things on government property,” he added. “If you want to show these things off site, I think that would be entirely appropriate.”

Armstrong said he will continue to push for the screening to follow a May 4 roundtable on child abuse issues.

“I guess it’s a fight we’re going to have,” Armstrong said. “I can’t imagine they’re going to shut us down when we have a permit to show it.”









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