LA film fest head resigns following criticism of his ‘Prop. 8’ donation

Los Angeles Film Festival Richard Raddon has resigned his post as Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival following the harsh industry criticism of his $1,500 donation to support the recently passed California ballot initiative Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage.

Raddon said in a statement said he believed that all people of any race, religion or sexual orientation are entitled to equal rights. Saying that he is a devout and faithful Mormon, he prefers to keep the details around his contribution through his church a private matter. He added: "But I am profoundly sorry for the negative attention that my actions have drawn to Film Independent and for the hurt and pain that is being experienced in the GLBT community."

After Raddon's contribution was made public on The Hot Blog of Movie City News, Film Independent was swamped with criticism from the supporters of "No on 8" supporters. Within days, Raddon offered to step down as festival director, but the board - which includes Don Cheadle, Forest Whitaker, Lionsgate President Tom Ortenberg and Fox Searchlight President Peter Rice - gave him a unanimous vote of confidence. However, during a meeting on Monday, they reversed their decision.

In a statement, Film Independent, the nonprofit organization that produces the festival, said it was only "with great reluctance" that it accepted Raddon's resignation from the position he had held since 2000. The organization said: "Rich's service to the independent film community and to Film Independent has been nothing less than extraordinary. We are sorry to see him go."