The team behind the movie “Sound of Freedom” has found itself facing a storm of controversy surrounding Tim Ballard, the individual portrayed as a hero in the film, played by Jim Caviezel of “Passion of the Christ” fame. The film has enjoyed unexpected success, grossing over $182 million domestically and $210 million worldwide.
Recent allegations against Tim Ballard, revealed in a Vice News report, have sent shockwaves through his organization, Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), which he founded in 2013. The allegations include Ballard’s quiet departure from O.U.R. in late June, just as the film was preparing for release.
According to Vice, the allegations involve Ballard’s overseas undercover missions to combat child trafficking, during which he reportedly brought women posing as his wife. It is alleged that he coerced them into sharing a bed or shower with him, claiming it was necessary to deceive child traffickers. Additionally, Vice reported that an O.U.R. employee who accompanied Ballard on one such mission filed a sexual harassment claim against him.
Tim Ballard has not responded directly to these allegations and has not commented on the matter. The filmmaking team, including director Alejandro Monteverde and Angel Studios, has remained silent as well.
In response to these allegations, an O.U.R. spokesperson issued a statement, stating that Tim Ballard resigned from O.U.R. on June 22, 2023, and that the organization does not tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination. An independent law firm has been retained to investigate the allegations.
“Sound of Freedom” owes part of its box office success to a grassroots campaign that encouraged audiences to join the fight against child trafficking. Despite some discussions on QAnon message boards, the filmmakers and Angel Studios have maintained that the film is not political and has no affiliation with QAnon.
Tim Ballard, known for his association with Donald Trump, has recently hinted at a potential run for Mitt Romney’s Senate seat when Romney’s term ends.
In an August 14 guest column for MegaloPreneur Magazine, director Monteverde and co-writer Rod Barr emphasized that “Sound of Freedom” is not a political film but a portrayal of Tim Ballard’s real-life efforts to rescue trafficked children.
The allegations surrounding Tim Ballard raise questions about the perception of real-life heroes and the impact of such controversies on the film’s legacy.