We Can Do Without Edgar Wright’s Hypocrisy

Being a musician, I’m always interested in fellow artists who chart their own path and create music that is truly representative of their unique world—not derivative of what is “hot” at the time or purely motivated by a desire for broad acceptance.

That’s why I found myself intrigued by an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about an upcoming film directed by Edgar Wright on a group called Sparks.

Edgar Wright
Director Edgar Wright (Photo by Matteo Chinellato/Shutterstock.com)

The biopic is about two brothers who have had long careers in pop music while remaining fiercely independent and uniquely creative. I quickly went to YouTube to watch the trailer for the film and put it on a mental checklist to see this fall.

But as I read on, I was disappointed to see Wright toss in a bigoted and ignorant aside about the founder of Scientology.

In the ham-fisted analogy Wright used, he could have just as easily tossed in another name, instead of L. Ron Hubbard. 

The question before the jury today is: why did he choose that particular name?

And the answer is: he did it because he felt that that particular religious figure and the religion he founded were the last acceptable refuge of bigotry. Here is a group that, according to Wright, it is still “safe” to malign.

Oddly enough, the whole idea of the Sparks movie was to depict a group that had charted its own course and was truly unique. Wright embraces that principle in the realm of music, but denigrates it when it comes to philosophy and religion.

The question before the jury today is: why did he choose that particular name?

Scientology is a new religion, born in the 1950s. It answers the questions all religions tackle, has been recognized as a religion by governments across the globe, and has millions of followers internationally.

So besides making somewhat of a hypocrite out of him, Wright’s convoluted analogy doesn’t even apply.

Here is my newsflash for Mr. Wright: Scientology, its founder and its members like me are not throw-away punch lines in your—or anyone else’s—failed attempts at being funny.

Sure Scientology is different, but all great movements are. It’s unique, with its own highly practical, yet spiritual, view of life. Many millions of people embrace and use it. They deserve respect.

Truly great musicians, artists and philosophies are unique, not derivative. 

Despite Wright’s bigoted aside, I think I will check out the movie. I always enjoy something that represents a fresh view.

It’s why I’ve been a Scientologist for over 40 years.

Roger Harrison
Roger operates professionally as a jazz piano player, singer, voice-over artist and bandleader. He is passionate about the importance of religious freedom and the dangers of religious bigotry.