The Most Powerful Man in Hollywood
Even those who dislike film censorship have been forced to wonder, if Breen and the code were mere censors, why were Hollywood films better before the code broke down in the early 1960s?
The code today is often seen as synonymous with the Legion of Decency, which was an entirely separate body. It was a pressure group whose members sometimes advocated boycotting all films.
Some Hollywood executives (many of whom were Jewish, which did raise tensions between Jews and Irish Catholics) looked at Breen as the person who would bring Catholics back into movie houses.
It's also important to remember the code was a response to anti-Irish films. The code explicitly states, in fact, that no ethnic group or religion could be mocked in motions pictures.
So, maybe you agree with Bill Donahue, maybe you don't. But if you want to learn more about the days when Irish Catholics really influenced Hollywood, pick up Thomas Doherty's new book.
(Contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org)