Komen Backlash Fuels Demand for Anti-Pink Ribbon Documentary

A Canadian documentary bashing pink ribbon fundraising efforts as commercial and devoid of actual substance is profiting from the skepticism created by Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Pink Ribbon, Inc., a film based on a 2008 book, made a small splash after it was unveiled at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. It was screened in a few Canadian theatres last September. A Dec. 19, 2011 YouTube trailer garnered a few hundred views from YouTube and Facebook.

However, the trailer of the movie has gained more American interest since the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation largely recognized by its pink ribbons was skewered for dropping grants with the nation's leading abortion provider.

PPFA immediately hit back after the grant announcement was made earlier this month, telling supporters that Komen had succumbed to political pressure.

Before the controversy, YouTube view-tracking information showed the video garnered over 600 views on Dec. 20. After the controversy, trailer views jumped to over 50,000 for the first time ever and continued to climb to over 100,000 views. As of Thursday morning the trailer has been watched 151,945 times.

"Is this going to come to the U.S.? If so, WHEN? (sic) I can't wait to see this!" says one viewer.

While the film appears to focus on "pinkwashing" – the practice of bathing commercial items in pink and pink ribbons to drive consumer demand – the film features images of Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure and an interview with Komen Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker.

The video's comment section has also become a sounding board for some Planned Parenthood supporters.

One commenter wrote, "Screw SGK, My money, my marathons will go to PP."

Another commenter wrote, "Koman (sic) has permanent egg on their face now - they put it there - and they will never be trusted again. This is Karma. We will always support PP now and will NEVER (sic) buy anything pink again. Nothing for Komen - they have exposed themselves as heartless, politically motivated frauds."

Former Komen Senior Vice President Karen Handel said this and other public efforts to criticize the breast cancer foundation are the result of a "premeditated, orchestrated" attack waged by Planned Parenthood.

Princeton University professor Robert P. George and University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture Director O. Carter Snead agreed.

"Faced with even the tiniest depletion in the massive river of funds Planned Parenthood receives yearly, the behemoth mobilized its enormous cultural, media, financial and political apparatus to attack the Komen Foundation in the press, on TV and through social media," they wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Komen has apologized for the political appearance of their grant criteria change and promised to allow Planned Parenthood to apply for future grants.

Several commenters to the Pink Ribbon, Inc. trailer blasted Komen for funding 19 Planned Parenthood clinics. Meanwhile, others expressed outrage over Brinker's high salary.

Reuters news service reported that she was paid $417,712 in 2011.

All the outrage is pushing the producers to release the film in America. New York-based home video distributor First Run Features said it will begin selling the film this spring.

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!


Most Popular

More In Politics