Tuesday, February 12, 2008

was wondering when this would happen 

Man who tells stories about the horror of authoritarian regimes does some hard thinking, decides not to work for one:

US film director Steven Spielberg has withdrawn as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
In a statement, he accused China of not doing enough to pressure its ally Sudan to end the "continuing human suffering" in the troubled western Darfur region.

"I find that my conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual," said Mr Spielberg.

At least 200,000 people have been killed and two million forced from their homes in the five-year conflict.

In a statement, Mr Spielberg said: "At this point, my time and energy must be spent not on Olympic ceremonies, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur."

I suppose you shouldn't beat on a guy for ultimately doing the right thing, but jeebus how long did that need to take? What's being done to the Chinese and Tibetans wasn't enough to turn down the job outright? It takes a much higher profile atrocity to threaten putting enough of a tarnish on the Spielberg brand before he pulls the plug? I guess as long as Americans persist in pious wailing about Darfur, sanitizing Beijing's image is beyond even Spielberg's powers. Why does America hate Steve's freedom?

Hypocrisy aside, why was he even doing that gig in the first place? Even if it was for Stockholm games, don't you have better shit to do, Steve? A trunkful of awards and ruling Hollywood isn't enough? You had to get your name in the pantheon of all-time Great Olympic Artistic Directors before retirement? Fuck making movies that everyone on the planet watches, you haven't cemented your status in the entertainment world until you've called the shots on the World's Most Iceless Ice Capades!

I guess he'll just have to wait for Islamabad 2012.


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