Dear HBODomestic Violence by Mike Rinder

Sheila Nevins, the head of HBO documentaries, exhibits her “domestic violence double standard” by righteously condemning domestic abuse on the one hand, when it makes for good PR for her and HBO, but then glorifying a notorious wife and woman abuser, à la Mike Rinder, and granting him five-star luxury while parading him around to promote Gibney’s film. Hypocrisy should be exposéd.

March 12, 2015

Sheila Nevins
President, HBO Documentary Films

Re: Domestic Violence

Dear Ms. Nevins:

You are a hypocrite. You publicly pledge to fight domestic violence and pat yourself on the back for airing films on the subject, then turn around and make wife abuser Mike Rinder the public face of Alex Gibney’s film on the Church of Scientology. To add insult to injury for the women he has abused, you fly Rinder around the country in five-star luxury as part of a promotional junket to support the film’s bigoted agenda.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Rinder also is an admitted liar, suborner of perjury, deadbeat and paid professional bigot who can’t hold a job and whose only income is money made attacking Scientology. Parading him around to promote the film can only mean you intentionally chose to cover up dirty little secrets about Mike Rinder rather than be honest with HBO viewers and let them judge for themselves. Given Rinder’s documented past violence, it could not be more outrageous that you are holding him out as your poster boy to shill for your film. Have you no shame?

See the video Mike Rinder: The Wife Abuser at It is important for you to view this and know all of the facts. This is not going to go away. You may hope to sweep domestic abuse under a rug, but his victims won’t stand for that and neither will we.

You are standing by while Alex Gibney calls a violent abuser of women “heroic.” You refused to meet with Rinder’s former wife of 36 years, Cathy, who flew to New York with their daughter, Taryn, to give you the firsthand details of Rinder’s domestic abuse and violent behavior. You knew they were coming as I wrote HBO and Mr. Gibney numerous times. Your attorney asked that anybody who had firsthand knowledge of allegations being made in the film be made available, which is why Cathy and Taryn traveled thousands of miles to see you.

We called you, left messages with your assistant and sent numerous emails. No response. No returned calls. Not even the courtesy of an acknowledgment. Indeed, this will be the 8th letter in 7 weeks, with not a single reply.

Your double standard is shameful. It’s all well and good to condemn domestic abuse when it makes for good PR for you and HBO, but when it involves a man Alex Gibney glorifies in his film you look the other way. Trust us, your silence won’t make this albatross disappear, because we aren’t going away. Your hypocrisy will be exposéd.


Karin Pouw