Gerald Molen, who won a Best Picture Academy Award for co-producing Schindler’s List, was prevented from addressing the graduating class of Ronan, Montana High School when the principle informed him that he couldn’t deliver his speech because he was a “right wing conservative.”
Gerald Molen won a best picture Oscar for co-producing Schindler’s List with Steven Spielberg and has produced such Hollywood blockbusters as the first two Jurassic Park films and Twister. He’s a former U.S. Marine and is a sought-after motivational speaker.
So he’s not accustomed to being shunned.
Such was the case, though, when he was invited to speak to the graduating class at a Montana high school. But upon arriving, was told by the principal he would not be allowed to deliver the speech he had prepared.
The reason, he believes, is politics.
Unlike Hollywood, Ronan isn’t exactly a hotbed of liberalism (its state representative is a Republican), still, Molen says that Stack told him straight up that he wouldn’t be allowed to address the students because he was “a right-wing conservative.”
“He said some callers didn’t want the kids exposed to that, despite not knowing what my message would be,” Molen told The Hollywood Reporter.
Stack did not return several calls seeking comment, nor did representatives from the Ronan School District.
Molen has spoken at dozens of schools and never accepts a fee. When one is offered, he asks that it be donated to the Shoah Foundation, the nonprofit organization founded by Spielberg and dedicated to the remembrance of the Holocaust.
When speaking to students, Molen’s presentations usually invoke Oskar Schindler, who is credited with saving 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust and is the subject of the Oscar-winning 1993 film that Molen co-produced with Spielberg and Branko Lustig.
In an update, the superintendent informed HR that the principle had been fired:
The incident as described by Molen “did, in fact, occur,” superintendent of schools for the Ronan district Andy Holmlund told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.
“It is my understanding that the high-school principal made the decision based on his point of view. It is not the view of the district. That’s not the expectations that the district maintains. That principal will not be serving in this school district for the upcoming school year.”
Free speech for me, not for thee.