Who was offended? Catholics What was their beef? Catholic League President Bill Donohue called for a boycott of the fantasy film, based on the books by Philip Pullman, months before the film's premiere. Donohue was offended by the books' harsh criticism of the Roman Catholic Church and their supposed pro-atheism message. Though director Chris Weitz tried to de-emphasize the source material's more controversial aspects, the outrage continued right up until the film's release. Audiences stayed away in droves, though whether it was because of the religious controversy or the fact that the movie received horrible reviews is a matter of debate.
Laurie Sparham / New Line Cinema