Spotlight Star Michael Keaton Decries the Institution of Religion

Michael Keaton

By Victor Ochieng

American actor Michael John Douglas, better known as Michael Keaton, recently underlined how valuable faith is and talked about his upbringing in the Catholic faith, pointing out the value as well as the danger of institutions.

The actor was in the United Kingdom sharing his thoughts about faith and institutions ahead of the premier of his film, “Spotlight.”

In the film, Keaton plays Walter “Robby” Robinson, the Boston Globe journalist who led a team in a 2001 exposé of child sex abuse acts in the Catholic Church.

The film hit the screens on Wednesday in London.

Keaton said, “I haven’t been Catholic since I was an altar boy… I’m lapsed,” although he reveals that once in a while he goes to church and would seize every opportunity to reaffirm how invaluable faith is.

He explains that “Spotlight” doesn’t attack the Catholic faith, but instead pokes holes in the institution.

“As much as I hate what’s happened in the world based on organized religion and people’s alleged faith, I’m a defender and think it’s good for people,” he asserted.

He underlines that the film is about institutions, exposing individuals who abuse their power to cause havoc amongst the vulnerable members of the society.

“I’m totally cool with my vision of what people call God and I’m good there, but what this movie’s about is not religion, but institutions,” he explained. “It’s about people who take power and seek power and use that power to disadvantage the disenfranchised and the powerless and it happens in a lot of places, literally all over the world.”

Keaton talks about how journalism gave him hope saying, “that’s what we hope younger people, when they see this film, can get excited about and feel the power.”

The Boston Globe journalists who inspired the creation of the “Spotlight,” Walter Robinson and Mike Rezendes, talked to the BBC about their 2001 groundbreaking investigation.

According to Robinson, the Catholic Church, back then, was quite secretive and very difficult to dig deep into.

“There was way too much deference paid for way too long to the church,” he said. “The cover up that thousands of priests were abusing children in the United States was allowed to continue for too long and finally we did crack the code.”

The film hits UK cinemas on January 29, 2016.