L.A. Film Festival head resigns over Prop. 8 donation
Richard Raddon, the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival who has been at the center of controversy ever since it was revealed almost two weeks ago that he had contributed $1,500 to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California, resigned from his post over the weekend.
The nonprofit arts organization Film Independent sponsors both the Los Angeles Film Festival, held in May, and the popular Independent Spirit awards. Raddon is a member of the Mormon Church, which actively called on its congregants to work for the passage of Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. It has been estimated that Mormons gave more than $20 million in support of the recently passed ballot measure.
After Raddon's contribution was made public online, Film Independent was swamped with criticism from "No on 8" supporters both inside and outside the organization. Within days, Raddon offered to step down as festival director, but the board, which includes Don Cheadle, Forest Whitaker, Lionsgate President Tom Ortenberg and Fox Searchlight President Peter Rice, gave him a unanimous vote of confidence.
Photo: Raddon speaks at a 2007 screening of "Talk to Her". Credit: L.A. Film Festival.