Happy MLK Day! (Why Oliver Stone Won`t Be Making The Biopic)

Oliver Stone has announced that he’s dropping out of a project to do a Martin Luther King biopic, because he wanted to portray some of the less emphasized facts about King’s life, specifically the part about adultery.


Oliver Stone drops out of Martin Luther King Jr. project, takes to Twitter to explain, By Samantha Highfill, Entertainment Weekly, Jan 17, 2014

One problem is that this is blasphemous. King is treated like a secular saint at least, and frequently like a demigod. Blaspheming his memory, no matter how true the facts you use, brings punishment.

The other problem is that it’s insane—it’s bad enough that (some) people know about King’s  repeated adulteries, but showing them on screen would totally destroy his image, to say nothing of how King’s three still living children Martin III, Dexter and Bernice would feel. They weren’t happy about King confidant Ralph Abernethy’s biography.

I think that as high-level Hollywood type, Stone simply doesn’t know how normal people feel about adultery—Christopher Hitchens had a similar problem.

When Ron Paul was attacked for saying in some old newsletters that Dr. King was guilty of adultery, plagiarism, and pro-communism, I wrote this:

One of the shock-shock-shocking things The New Republic revealed about the Ron Paul Letters is that he said unkind things about Martin Luther King. That he was pro-Communist, that he was a plagiarist, and that he engaged in sexual immorality.

Christopher Hitchens is a great admirer of Dr. King`s non-violent campaign, of his preaching, (which Hitchens insists could have been just as good if Dr. King hadn`t been a Christian) and because of Hitchens own personal and ideological history, he doesn`t think any of this is particularly wrong.

So Hitchens repeats, more or less approvingly, all the same facts…

What Hitchens disapproved of was King’s Christianity. Anyhow, as far as King’s personal life is concerned the “truth is out there”—it’s in standard biographies like Bearing The Cross, by David Garrow—but it’s not coming to the big screen any time soon.

The FBI surveillance tapes on Martin Luther King are sealed by court order until the year 2027, but VDARE.com`s MLK archives are always online. Probably the most significant thing in our archives is Helms, Jesse. “Remarks of Senator Jesse Helms.” Congressional Quarterly 129, no. 130 (October 3, 1983): S13452-S13461.

 Helms, asked to vote in favor of a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, had asked to see the FBI`s records, not only for the character-related material, (i.e. adultery) but for the record of what the FBI had found out about his political associates (i.e. Communism). That`s the stuff that`s still sealed until the year 2027.

The late Sam Francis explained this in 1998 in The King Holiday and Its Meaning. My own When Records Are Sealed: A Meditation On Martin Luther King Day, featured a roundup of articles on the subject.

If you`re one of the 29 percent of Americans who gets off work on MLK Day, enjoy it! In the words of Chris Rock, “You gotta be pretty racist to not want a day off from work.”

 If you are stuck at a computer, take some time to look at these.