Hollywood’s PC perversion stifles storytelling
November 27, 2005
BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
This year’s Sean Penn thriller, ”The Interpreter,” was originally about Muslim terrorists blowing up a bus in New York. So, naturally, Hollywood called rewrite. And instead the bus got blown up by African terrorists from the little-known republic of Matobo. ”We didn’t want to encumber the film in politics in any way,” said Kevin Misher, the producer.
But being so perversely ”non-political” is itself a political act. If there were a dozen movies in which Tom Cruise kicked al-Qaida butt across the Hindu Kush, it would be reasonable to say, ”Hey, we’d rather deal with Matoban terrorism for a change.” But, when every movie goes out of its way to avoid being ”encumbered,” it starts to look like a pathology.
There are at least two good reasons why Western filmmakers are reluctant to address, even obliquely, the Islamic threat to civilization. First, they will immediately be labelled racist bigot Islamophobes. Second, they will be brutally murdered. This is not supposition. They called Theo van Gogh a racist bigot Islamophobe, then they brutally murdered him.
Isn’t it strange when these liberal artist types, who ordinarily delight in testing limits and sticking their finger in whoever’s eye they like, suddenly turn obsequious when it comes to Islam. Oh no, "we didn’t want to encumber the film in politics". Riiiight. That and you’ve got a touch of Islamophobia. Remember: just because you’re afraid of Muslims doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.