“CONVICTION”: Gloria Allred v. Hilary Swank

By October 14, 2010The WIN Column

“CONVICTION”: Gloria Allred v. Hilary Swank

Is there any moral obligation for a film producer to contact the family of a crime victim before making a movie about real-life events related to that crime? That’s the question posed by feminist lawyer Gloria Allred in a media battle against Academy-Award winning actress Hilary Swank and producers of the new film “Conviction.”

“Conviction” is a motion picture portrayal of real-life Betty Anne Waters, a waitress who went to law school to free her brother from a wrongful conviction for the 1980 murder of Massachusetts resident Katharina Brow. Hilary Swank is an executive producer of the movie and also stars as Betty Anne Waters. The film was produced based upon the life story rights of Betty Anne Waters. However, Gloria Allred is now “representing” Melrose Alicia Brow, daughter of the crime victim Katharina Brow. At a press conference on October 14, 2010 – which was live-streamed on TMZ.com no less – Allred accused producers, including Hilary Swank, of failing to show “respect and compassion” because they never contacted the the victim’s family while the film was being produced. Allred has sent a letter to the film producers requesting a meeting between them and Brow’s children.

Why the children of Katharina Brow need a lawyer in this situation is a mystery… because there is no legal claim here. In fact, Allred conceded during her press conference that this is not a legal issue but a moral one. Allred is trying to place a moral burden on producers to reach out to a crime victim’s family members when a movie is being produced about the crime events – even if the film may not focus on or even depict those family members. Is that necessary? Or is this just a play by Gloria Allred for more media attention?

Read this article from ABCNews.com in which JimmyWin is quoted about the controversy: Conviction Victim Gloria Allred Savages Films Actress Hilary

And watch the official film trailer to judge for yourself.