Film Shines A ‘Spotlight’ On Boston’s Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal


[with audio]

In 2001, a team of reporters at the Boston Globe began investigating reports of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The “Spotlight” team, as it was known, eventually revealed that the abuse had been happening for decades — and that church leaders in Boston had been aware of it, and had been involved in covering it up.

Veteran reporter and editor Walter Robinson, who led the Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Spotlight team, tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies: “These crimes were unimaginable, and that they could’ve been countenanced and enabled by such an iconic institution, it gave us so much energy to pursue the story and get the story and make it public.”

Now, the new film, Spotlight, chronicles the investigation that brought the scandal to light. Tom McCarthy, who co-wrote and directed the new film, says he was immediately drawn to the story.

“As I dug into the material, first just on my own, and then with my co-writer Josh Singer, we realized that the story operated on so many levels. … It went well beyond the investigation itself,” McCarthy says. “It was something we were immediately engrossed in.”

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