When Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League revealed his support for writer Devin Faraci, the film community reacted with shock and disapproval. Faraci faced sexual assault accusations last year, leading him to step down as Editor-in-Chief at Birth.Movies.Death— a Drafthouse subsidiary. His online presence vanished, but less than a year later, his byline reappeared in the brochure for the Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest.
League had quietly rehired Faraci, explaining in a public statement that Faraci had suffered for his actions and deserved a second chance. Other members of the film community were not so forgiving. They accused League of prioritizing Faraci’s career above the well-being of women and sexual assault survivors at Fantastic Fest.
It didn’t take long for League to retract his decision. In a Facebook post Wednesday night, he confirmed that Faraci had “left the company permanently,” and Drafthouse employees would be invited to “a series of small group discussions” about the controversy. Since then, Faraci’s blurbs have been removed from the Fantastic Fest brochure.
Even though Faraci no longer works for Drafthouse, the backlash is likely to continue. It seems that other Drafthouse employees were unaware of his involvement, and League may have hidden the decision to hire him as a writer. Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Fantastic Fest’s former director of international programming said, “I had no advance knowledge of this decision nor knowledge that Devin was contributing to the program guide.” He quit this week, after discovering Faraci’s role at the festival.
Another programming employee quit last year, partly due to League’s handling of Faraci’s sexual assault allegations. He told THR that “Devin’s new position was not initially announced internally so it’s difficult for me to say with exact certainty when he began in it.” Apparently, Faraci was “around” one month after the accusations went public, suggesting he’d never actually left the company. He just kept a low profile while League rehired him for a different job.
Meanwhile, Birth.Movies.Death. made it clear that Faraci has not worked “in any capacity” for the site since his resignation last year.
The THR story hints that League has a history of protecting Faraci. The second of the two former Drafthouse programmers said he was formally “censured by the Alamo” for criticizing an article by Faraci in 2014. The article in question cast doubt on Woody Allen’s child abuse accusations. More seriously, League was also aware of at least one other sexual harassment accusation against Faraci. A writer contacted him to say Faraci harassed her, and League responded to say that Faraci was doing “some very serious soul-searching,” ending his message, “I’d appreciate it if you kept this dialogue between us.”
In his initial statement about Faraci’s hiring, League professed his support for “engaging in dialogue” about sexual harassment and gender inequality. This no longer feels sincere. Faraci only left the Drafthouse after League faced serious backlash against his business, and before that, it looks like he actively tried to protect Faraci from public accusations.