Constitutional free speech likely to allow Mark Wahlberg, Whitey Bulger movie to go ahead
Though “morally repugnant,” a film about Whitey would be legal - VIDEO
Whitey Bulger recently requested a prison sit-down with Dorchester native and Hollywood A-Lister Mark Wahlberg, presumably to chat about the possibility of turning Bulger’s mob life into a Hollywood film. Bulger’s opponents, however, would rather the infamous mobster not be glorified or compensated by way of a film.
The Boston Herald reports that while it may not be morally correct for a film to be made in which Bulger could receive reparations, it is still perfectly legal under the Constitution’s free speech doctrine.
Andy Kahan, a crime victim-assistance director for Houston, Texas, who speaks nationally against letting criminals see profit from their crimes, said “Most courts frown on anything that restricts free speech.”
“Like it or not, it’s legal. Is it morally repugnant? I’m sure you could argue,” Kahan said. “The reality is, this is just the beginning of the merchandising of Whitey Bulger.”
James “Whitey” Bulger is currently awaiting trial for federal charges at Plymouth County House of Corrections in Massachusetts. The accused mobster is infamous for his notorious crime record in that state.
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Despite attempts, lawmakers have failed to pass laws prohibiting convicted criminals from selling their stories. The Boston Herald reports that Frank Sinatra Jr sued Columbia Pictures and the three men accused of kidnapping Ol’ Blue Eyes’ son and holding him hostage in 1963 for a $240,000 ransom. The studio offered them $1 million for their story.
Initially, Sinatra won the lawsuit, but it was then overturned in 2002 when a California Supreme Court judge deemed that the kidnappers were protected by their right to free speech.
Similarly, families of those affected by Whitey Bulger’s alleged crimes desperately wish that the mobster sees no profit from the stories. Thomas Hussey, father of Deborah Hussey who was 26 in 1986 when she was murdered after “Bulger throttled her for dropping his name around town”, according to testimonies, finds the possibility of a Whitey film unsettling.
Hussey said, “I don’t think they should make a picture glorifying the (expletive). He was responsible for killing my daughter. He’s nothing to be put on a pedestal.”
What do you think? Should a film be made about Whitey’s life?
Below, check out an extra titled ‘Stranger than Fiction: The True Story of Whitey Bulger, Southie and ‘The Departed’’ from the film ‘The Departed,’ which was partly inspired by Whitey’s life.
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