Distributor admits dialogue attributed to Boston figure was fictionalized 'for dramatic effect'
Credit: Everett Collection

Jack Dunn, the Boston College spokesman who criticized the Oscar-winning movie Spotlight for portraying him in an unflattering light, feels “vindicated” after Open Road Films acknowledged that the filmmakers attributed “fictionalized dialogue” to him “for dramatic effect,” and that he was not involved in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

“I feel vindicated by the public statement and relieved to have the record set straight on an issue that has caused me and my family tremendous pain,” Dunn said Tuesday in a statement to EW. “While it will never erase the horrific experience of being falsely portrayed in an Academy Award-winning film, this public statement enables me to move forward with my reputation and integrity intact.”

Directed by Tom McCarthy and released last November, Spotlight chronicles how a team of Boston Globe reporters exposed decades of clerical sex abuse in 2002. Dunn denounced the film for wrongly depicting him as callous, even complicit in the cover-up to suppress the truth when Globe reporters met with administrators of Boston College High School.

Open Road, the movie’s distributor, released a statement earlier Tuesday that said, “As is the case with most movies based on historical events, Spotlight contains fictionalized dialogue that was attributed to Mr. Dunn for dramatic effect. We acknowledge that Mr. Dunn was not part of the Archdiocesan cover-up. It is clear from his efforts on behalf of the victims at BC High that he and the filmmakers share a deep, mutual concern for victims of abuse.”

Open Road and the filmmakers behind Spotlight previously defended the movie’s portrayal of Dunn on multiple occasions.

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