‘Spotlight’ Actor Mark Ruffalo And Director Tom McCarthy Went ‘Spur Of The Moment’ To Sexual Abuse Protest Before Oscars

It was a packed weekend for Spotlight co-writer and director Tom McCarthy and star Mark Ruffalo. The film won big at Saturday night’s Spirit Awards and was up for a number of Oscars on Sunday. But the people behind the film that chronicles the investigative reporting that exposed an abuse scandal within the Catholic Church took time Sunday morning to attend a Los Angeles protest put on by Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests (SNAP).

As McCarthy told The Hollywood Reporter, their attendance was confirmed last minute. SNAP founder Barbara Blaine had extended the invitation on Saturday, and on Sunday morning McCarthy realized he had time. He called up Ruffalo and his Spotlight co-writer Josh Singer to ask if they also wanted to attend.

“It was a little spur of the moment. I didn’t know what [Oscar] day was going to look like, but as soon as I realized I didn’t have much to do but shower and put on a tux I thought, ‘What better way to start the day?’ It was incredibly gratifying.”

Singer elaborated on the protest’s objective and why it was important.

“We’re trying to put a little more pressure on the [Catholic] Church to hold bishops accountable, have a little more transparency and do a better job protecting kids.”

Ruffalo promoted the protest on his social media accounts and, as Yahoo TV reported, spoke to those assembled.

“I’m here to stand with the survivors and the victims and the people we’ve lost from Catholic priest childhood sex abuse.”

SNAP had arranged 20 protests across the United States. The group called for the release of names of priests involved in child molestation. Blaine said the movie Spotlight “gets it right,” and SNAP wanted to capitalize on the attention it has received.

'Spotlight' writers Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy won an Academy Award for the ‘Spotlight’ screenplay. The men attended a SNAP protest in Los Angeles the day of the Oscars along with actor Mark Ruffalo. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Ruffalo posted two short interviews he taped at the protest on Twitter Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mark Ruffalo of 'Spotlight'
Mark Ruffalo was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his turn in ‘Spotlight.’ The film took home Best Picture. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, it took Spotlight several years to get made. One financial backer dropped out unexpectedly. On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that DreamWorks passed on Spotlight because the studio had an output deal with Disney, according to Participant Media executive Jonathan King.

“[T]hey ultimately realized Disney was probably not the right distributor for [Spotlight].

“Disney is an extremely successful company at releasing big, giant hits. But it’s not in a big studio’s business plan to make these kind of movies. Their business plan is to make ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Jurassic World.’ I get that, but there is still a vibrant market for these films.”

Producer Nicole Rocklin told The Hollywood Reporter last year that DreamWorks was committed to cover half of the $15 million production budget of Spotlight. But the company withdrew its backing without explanation. Rocklin speculated that the movie’s tough subject matter might have been to blame.

Spotlight‘s two Oscar wins — for Best Picture and Best Screenplay — came despite competition from multiple award winner Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant, which got Leonardo DiCaprio a Best Actor trophy and Alejandro González Iñárritu the Best Director award. Iñárritu took home Best Picture and Best Director honors last year for his film Birdman, which starred Michael Keaton. Keaton was also part of the ensemble cast of Spotlight.

[Photo by Devork Djansezian/Getty Images]