Saturday, October 1, 2016

YouTube blocked trailer for Christian movie 'I'm Not Ashamed' for months, film execs say

Producers of the Christian film "I'm Not Ashamed" have been embroiled in a battle with YouTube after the video-sharing site took down their film's trailer with no explanation. 
The video site has since reinstated the trailer, but those closest to the film say the months of being kept off the video sharing site have damaged the publicity for the movie.

"It’s 11 months we’ve been fighting this battle," "I'm Not Ashamed" co-writer Bodie Thoene told FOX411. "They actually took down the trailer and would not permit it to be put up."

Thoene added, "[YouTube] would not give any explanation, no explanation whatsoever, why they... [took it down]...we’ve lost 11 months of being able to use social media freely. We feel it’s an interference with our freedom of expression."

One of the film's producers, Nise Davies, told us, "The only reason I even knew [the trailer had been taken down] was because I had a whole bunch of panicked actors messaging was just gone. It was shocking."

According to the Hollywood Reporter, YouTube put the video back up this week after being contacted by the news organization.

YouTube told FOX411, "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."

According to the news site, a lawyer for the film's production company, Pure Flix Entertainment told YouTube in a letter, "My client was never provided with any clear explanation or substantiation of why the movie trailer was removed. YouTube’s removal of the movie trailer has interfered with promotional activities of the film."

They are seeking "compensation for 11 months of lost online marketing for the movie."

"I'm Not Ashamed" follows the story of the first person killed in the Columbine High School shootings. "Duck Dynasty's" Sadie Robertson, who appears in the film spoke to FOX411 about the inspirational message behind the movie. 

"The Columbine story is one that everybody's heard but not everybody knows of Rachel Scott's story and it's a story that needs to be heard," Robertson shared.

FOX411 debuted an exclusive first look at the film's full length trailer on September 6. Watch it in the video above.

"I'm Not Ashamed" is set for release on October 21.

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