The first volley fired in response to Richard Dutcher's controversial comments on Mormon cinema and his own relationship to Mormonism was fired by Kieth Merrill, in a Daily Herald opinion piece published on Saturday April 14 entitled "Dutcher comments showed arrogance." Merrill was responding in a defensive mode to Dutcher's critical comments about the LDS films Merrill produced for viewing at the Legacy Theater. Here's a taste: "The condescending tone and pretentious arrogance of this guy is unbelievable. No self-image problem here. Or is it in fact the opposite? Dutcher's reaction to his own failure and rejection by the Mormon audience has obviously prompted him to take the stance that everybody is out of step but him."
Merrill then quickly posted "Kieth Merrill apology" on Monday April 16. In it he said:
My outrageous and over-reactive response to Richard's editorial in the Daily Herald was inappropriate and wrong. I was wrong in doing it. I was mostly wrong in what I said. There were reasons, of course, but none of them qualify as an acceptable excuse for my bad behavior. I regret my actions and my words. I apologize for my sarcasm, criticism and condemnations. I am sorry. I have asked Richard and Gwen to forgive me.
He closed with, "I wish Richard well in his righteous endeavors and pursuit of cinematic truth." If nothing else, this pointed exchange of comments will bring a lot of attention to LDS cinema.