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Opinion >  Letters

Ethics in films

How do you know when your culture has totally lost its ethical foundation? Try this. While Senate candidate Roy Moore is justifiably condemned for sexually pursuing teenage girls in his 30s, the film garnering rave reviews and packing them in at the movie art houses is a film celebrating gay pedophilia. In case you don’t read film reviews, “Call Me by Your Name,” tells the story of a 17-year-old boy who falls for his 24-year-old tutor and enters a rapturous sexual relationship with him one glorious summer in Italy.

The adult star, Armie Hammer, was questioned by Ari Shapiro on NPR’s “All Things Considered” on whether the student/teacher power distance in the relationship might be seen as exploitative given the current avalanche of sexual misconduct accusations. Hammer, amazingly, answered by pointing out that the relationship was pushed by the teenager. Evidently this made it all right.

It reminded me of a theater colleague I once knew who fell into a relationship with one of his male teenage students. I’m quite sure it was consensual. He, nevertheless, went to prison. “Call Me by Your Name,” on the other hand, could be headed for an Oscar. Could anyone explain this to me?

James Becker


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