Surely you’re aware of the documentary Bridegroom, which tells the heart-wrenching story of a gay man whose life is turned upside-down after the death of his partner. It started as a YouTube video in which Shane Bitney Crone tearfully recounted how his partner, Tom, passed away; and then how Tom’s family tried to wipe away their relationship.
After gathering millions of views (it’s up to 4.5 million right now), the video became a full-length documentary. Redbox, the robot-DVD-rental-kiosk company, started carrying it due to its powerful message, despite a company policy against carrying documentaries. (Which is kind of a crazy policy, but let’s deal with that later.)
And now there’s a new twist that maybe you could have seen coming: Shane reports receiving abusive messages from people who don’t want the documentary to even be available to rent.
“Apparently this charitable act also has people up in arms, because they feel as if Bridegroom attempts to force people to change their views and beliefs while spreading a sinful, intolerable message,” he wrote on Facebook.
How massive is the backlash? It’s hard to say. Shane says he’s getting awful emails from people. Publicly, we could only find evidence of one single anti-Bridegroom message on Redbox’s Facebook page, though there are surely a few more out there. The page has been deluged with support since Shane posted his status update.
So support for the documentary seems to far outweigh the opposition. Still, it’s hard to imagine what Shane’s been through — losing a partner, rejected by a family, and now getting messages from strangers who don’t think he should be allowed to tell his story? Let’s all give him a big internet-hug. And then go rent his movie.