Mia Farrow and her son Ronan have co-signed a piece in The Wall Street Journal that warns Spielberg against his involvement in the Beijing Olympics. The original piece is only avaialble to subscribers but many news agencies have now picked the story up.
Farrow wrote in a Wall Street Journal column that Spielberg, a special consultant for the games, and corporate sponsors such as Coca-Cola and McDonald's should join calls for China to use its leverage over Khartoum to protect civilians in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region.
"That so many corporate sponsors want the world to look away from that atrocity during the games is bad enough, but equally disappointing is the decision of artists like director Steven Spielberg -- who quietly visited China this month as he prepares to help stage the Olympic ceremonies -- to sanitize Beijing's image. Is Mr. Spielberg, who in 1994 founded the Shoah Foundation to record the testimony of survivors of the Holocaust, aware that China is bankrolling Darfur's genocide?"The answer? Of course he is.
"Does Mr. Spielberg really want to go down in history as the Leni Riefenstahl of the Beijing Games?"
A chance would be a fine thing.
"Do the various television sponsors around the world want to share in that shame? Because they will. Unless, of course, all of them add their singularly well-positioned voices to the growing calls for Chinese action to end the slaughter in Darfur. Imagine if such calls were to succeed in pushing the Chinese government to use its leverage over Sudan to protect civilians in Darfur, the 2008 Beijing Olympics really could become an occasion for pride and celebration, a truly international honoring of the authentic spirit of 'one world' and 'one dream'"
Sometimes I look at film ick, with all of it's more popular stories on Spider-Man, Batman and so on, and it's less popular stories on... well, just about anything else, and I feel a little disappointment. I wish it was a better platform for me to express some serious and relevent concerns. What am I supposed to do? Report on every trip Clooney takes to Darfur? Would that be trivialising it? So... this is my chance, I guess.
Please read about the situation in Darfur. If you don't know much yet, then start, maybe, with UNICEF's page. It's very accessible. Then try Google, open the subject right up, even if you think you know all about it. See what else you can't find out. Learn something. Be aware.
That's always the first step. I try to take it again, every now and then.