By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com March 22 2002 1:00 AM ET
Rosie O'Donnell is asking to have her name and voice removed from an Oscar-nominated documentary after learning that the filmmakers are involved with a group that has been described as a homophobic cult.
The talk show host, who recently came out publicly as a lesbian, narrated Artists and Orphans: A True Drama, about a New York theater group that travels to the former Soviet republic of Georgia to help orphaned and abandoned children. The film is competing against two other documentary shorts for an Academy Award on Sunday. O'Donnell, who has three adopted children and has been a vocal proponent of adoption rights for gays, volunteered to narrate the short.
But her spokeswoman said Wednesday that O'Donnell found out this week that the filmmakers are involved with the Fourth Way school, which bars gay students--unless they are interested in "changing" their sexual orientation--and believes gays shouldn't be parents. "If Rosie had known the truth about this organization, she never would have consented to lend her name and voice," said O'Donnell's publicist, Cindi Berger. She added that "Rosie is angry that the background wasn't disclosed to her."