Melbourne’s Underground Film Festival Director Under Fire Over A Homophobic Facebook Rant
He described the result of the marriage equality survey as "a black day" and linked homosexuality with child abuse.
The director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF), Richard Wolstencroft, has provoked outrage and sparked calls for a boycott of the festival after penning a homophobic Facebook tirade in which he decried the result of the marriage equality postal survey.
On Wednesday, Wolstencroft wrote on his personal account that “the Decadence and Degeneracy of the Bourgeois Elite has been normalised and The Nation will be under direct attack”, after the Australian people voted in favour of marriage equality.
“Homosexuality is created often through child abuse and it has been embraced by the Majority of Australians as normal,” declared Wolstencroft. “The Australian public really was fooled, bullied and cajoled in to this decision ruthlessly by the Government and Media Elite who wish to advance this abusive and destructive agenda.”
Wolstencroft also said he suspected “vote rigging from The Elite” and called the result of the vote “the beginning of the End of our Great Country”.
IMPORTANT – FILM FRIENDS PLS READ. This post was made by the founder and festival director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. After reading this, I will, of course, no longer be supporting MUFF. I strongly encourage all of you to join me. Please spread the word. pic.twitter.com/KHYZouJgRh
— Alanah Parkin 🏳️🌈 (@AlanahParkin) November 16, 2017
Wolstencroft was swiftly condemned by members of Melbourne’s local film and arts scene, many of whom declared their intention to boycott the festival he founded and has run since 2000.
I am never a fan of boycotting the arts, but @MUFF_Melbourne needs to hold their staff accountable for these hurtful (and frankly outrageous) public statements about the LGBTIQ community. #boycottMUFF https://t.co/AVaibvJPdc
— Riley Spadaro (@riley_spadaro) November 17, 2017
Hey friends, don’t support the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. The founder/festival director is a piece of shit. Thanks. 🤗🌈 https://t.co/ABksmRRKVN
— Harry Cook (@HarryCook) November 16, 2017
The director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Richard Wolstencroft is claiming, among other lies, that LGBTIQ people are child abusers. Important warning for those involved in the arts in Melbourne https://t.co/Sf06fgMltY
— Lauren Ingram 🌈 (@laureningram) November 16, 2017
Just been made aware of this, and have directly contacted Mr. Wolstencroft to officially rescind my MUFF Best Actor award for “Four Jacks” (2001) and terminate any association with his film festival. #YES https://t.co/bLteEAdpAN
— Lachy Hulme (@LachyHulme) November 17, 2017
Graham Espie, the manager of Melbourne bar Howler, which has previously hosted MUFF events, has also pledged never to work with the festival again, telling The Music that everyone at the venue was “disgusted” by Wolstencroft’s views.
Wolstencroft has since deleted his initial Facebook post, and subsequently wrote that he is “NOT against the Gay Community”, but rather that he “only tried to warn them, as a friend” about the “Elite take over of Legit Left and Identity politics”. His follow-up post also appears to have been deleted.
Mate, you really gotta shut up. pic.twitter.com/87TMsr5bEq
— Alanah Parkin 🏳️🌈 (@AlanahParkin) November 17, 2017
Speaking to The Citizen on Friday, Wolstencroft said he stood by his original post, and that “this is all about free speech”.
“It’s fair to say that I’m the Australian Milo Yiannoppoulos,” he told the publication. “I will not be silenced by Social Justice Warriors.”
While his posts this week have attracted the most attention, Wolstencroft has a long history of making provocative statements. He has described himself as a “transcendental fascist” and has written for the alt-right blog The Alternative Right. In 2010, he penned an article in which he expressed sympathy for Nazism, writing “the Nazis only wanted a united Europe like the EU”.
Wolstencroft’s penchant for controversy has also been reflected in the programming decisions at MUFF. In 2003 he programmed a film by holocaust denier David Irving, and this year screened Vaxxed and The Red Pill, documentaries sympathetic to the anti-vaccination and men’s rights movement, respectively.
Feature image via Melbourne Underground Film Festival/Facebook