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External Articles | Posted: September 27, 2004

Kinsey Biopic Outrage

By Sarah Baxter in New York
The Sunday Times, September 27, 2004

A FORTHCOMING Hollywood biopic of Alfred Kinsey, the "father of the sexual revolution", has been denounced as a whitewash by pro-family campaigners who are calling on the public to boycott the film.

Kinsey, starring Liam Neeson as the bow-tied scientist who throws off his repressed childhood to become an advocate of sexual liberation, is already being tipped as a potential multi-Oscar winner. The Irish star, 52, is said to give his most powerful performance since Schindler's List.

Bill Condon, the director, became fascinated with the pioneering sexologist's often tormented private life.

Kinsey interviewed 18,000 people about their sex lives, publishing Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male in 1948 and Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female in 1953. They were huge bestsellers.

In the course of his research he had sex with many of his male staff and filmed his wife Clara, played by Laura Linney, with other men. Pro-family campaigners hold Kinsey responsible for precipitating the post-1950s decline in morals.

Critics are particularly incensed by his research into child sexuality. It relied in part on the evidence of a Nazi pedophile, Fritz von Balluseck, who was tried for the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl in 1956. The two men kept up a correspondence, with Kinsey once warning him to "watch out" in case he was caught.

It was Kinsey's view that children's sexuality was restrained only by cultural conditioning, and that "hysterical weeping" and "screaming" were evidence of their pleasure. "I'm furious about it," said Schlessinger. "People should boycott this film if they care anything about the welfare of children."

The radio host joined the campaign against Kinsey after learning about his methods from Judith Reisman, who has written extensively about the sexologist. With pro-family groups, they bought advertising space in Variety, the film magazine, to denounce the biopic.

Variety refused their advert showing a crying baby next to the headline "Scared of paedophiles getting to your kids?" on grounds of taste.

"Talk about hypocrisy," said Dr. Reisman. "This is Hollywood and they are worried about poor taste?"

She also said: "Kinsey's father is depicted as a religious bigot who was uptight about sex and brutalised his son. There is nothing in the biographies of Kinsey that justifies this portrayal."

From The Sunday Times in London