Although the Alamo Drafthouse—co-organizers of next week’s Fantastic Fest in Austin—announced on Wednesday that it was once again parting ways with recently re-hired film critic Devin Faraci, the fallout from the decision to bring him back into the corporate fold is still being felt. Today, Variety reports that Fox Searchlight has pulled its new film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri from the festival, stating that the decision was being made by the film’s creators “in light of recent events.”
Faraci was once the editor-in-chief of Drafthouse-owned movie site Birth.Movies.Death, but stepped down from his post last year, after accusations came to light that he had once groped and sexually assaulted a woman. But after people noticed his byline appearing on the program guide for the upcoming Fantastic Fest, Drafthouse CEO Tim League penned a statement admitting that Faraci had been back and doing writing work for the company for some time. (League phrased the re-hire in terms of his belief in offering second chances.)
Backlash against the decision led a veteran programmer for the festival, Todd Brown, to resign from the company, and Faraci and League eventually decided it was necessary for Faraci to resign again. The initial secrecy appears to have left a bad taste in people’s mouths, though, hence, presumably, the pulling of Three Billboards, a new black comedy that stars Frances McDormand as a righteously angry, foul-mouthed mother trying to shame local police into solving her daughter’s murder. The film previously screened at festivals in Venice and Toronto.