Paul Schrader Banned From Social Media Ahead of Venice Film Festival for This Very Reason

With ‘The Card Counter’ being in competition at the annual festival, the Oscar-nominated writer/director admits he has become more mindful about what he says while promoting projects.

AceShowbiz -Writer/director Paul Schrader has been forced off social media by publicity bosses worried about “cancel culture”.

The Oscar-nominated writer/director has a new film, “The Card Counter“, in competition at Italy’s Venice Film Festival, which launched on Wednesday, September 1, and he admits he has become more mindful about what he says while promoting projects or he’ll derail his chances for awards.

He told Deadline his publicists have barred him from using Facebook to avoid sabotaging the new movie, which stars Oscar Isaac.

“I’m off Facebook until the film comes out,” he explains. “[Publicists at] Focus [Features] said that anybody can construe something you’ve said… It can become clickbait. That’s what all interviews would become about, and ‘The Card Counter’ would be forgotten.”

Schrader, who wrote the script for Martin Scorsese‘s “Taxi Driver” and went on to direct cult films like “American Gigolo” and “Cat People”, was blasted for declaring he would love to work with disgraced actor Kevin Spacey in 2018, shortly after “The Usual Suspects” star had been accused of sexual assault.

At the time, he wrote in a Facebook post, which he later deleted, “I believe there are crimes in life but no crimes in art. Spacey should be punished for any crimes his actual person created. But not for art. All art is a crime. Punishing him as an artist only diminishes art.”

Despite voicing the unpopular opinion, Schrader landed his first Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay in 2019 – for “First Reformed“. While Schrader seems to be minding his tongue this time around, he’s not happy about it.

Talking about Spacey and producer Scott Rudin, who has also been targeted with abuse allegations, the writer/director adds, “They have gotten caught up in cancel culture. Cancel culture is so infectious, it’s like the Delta virus. If your friend says, ‘They’re saying these terrible things about me that aren’t true,’ you’re afraid to come to their defense, because you might catch that virus too.”

Schrader doesn’t believe he’ll likely be canceled himself, saying, “I think I’ve been fairly honest and upfront, kept my hands to myself.”

However, his comments got him kicked out of two Zoom poker games during the pandemic. “I said something that someone took offense to… It was just impolite talk,” he explains. “Historically poker was all about men getting together to interact, but those days are gone, I guess.”

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