The filmmakers behind the movie "I'm Not Ashamed" are accusing YouTube of anti-Christian bias for taking down the trailer of the upcoming film without sufficient explanation.
"I'm Not Ashamed" is a movie based on the diaries of Columbine High School massacre victim Rachel Joy Scott. The YouTube channel created for the film was suspended and its trailer was taken down for undisclosed reasons in October last year.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter (THR), YouTube ignored the filmmaker's requests to reinstate the channel as well as its inquiries for an explanation regarding the removal of the trailer. The filmmakers claim that the channel was only restored after Youtube was contacted by THR last week.
The statement released by YouTube last Thursday states, "With the massive volume of videos on our platform, sometimes we make the wrong call on content that is flagged by our community. When this is brought to our attention, we review the content and take appropriate action, including restoring videos or channels that were mistakenly removed."
The restored channel got a "temporary penalty," with a warning that further videos that violate YouTube's standards "could prevent you from posting content to YouTube or even lead to your account being terminated."
The filmmakers have hired attorneys to demand an explanation from YouTube about its decision to block the trailer. The lawyers are also requesting the removal of the penalty from the channel.
"At the time the movie trailer for 'I'm Not Ashamed' was removed from YouTube in October of last year, it had over 5 million views. Since its reinstatement, there are virtually no views," attorney Garrick Stotser wrote in the letter.
The filmmakers believe that the trailer's removal was a response to a Change.org petition that has been signed by 1,868 people. The petition claimed that the trailer "evokes a sense of glorification and entertainment" toward the Columbine massacre.
Chuck Howard, the film's producer, disputed the claim saying, "We didn't glamorize the killers. We basically portrayed everything the way it happened."
Howard pointed out that detractors had posted the trailer that included snarky commentary during the time that the original trailer was blocked, but YouTube did not take down those versions.
The film stars Masey McLain as Rachel Joy Scott and Sadie Robertson as Scott's cousin Charity. It is scheduled to be shown in theaters across the United States on Oct. 21.