Despite the fact that it recently received five Oscar nominations, criticisms about Zero Dark Thirty's numerous torture scenes haven't stopped rolling in. The most recent: While speaking at an anti-torture rally in LA, actor David Clennon - who is also a member of the Academy - said that Zero Dark Thirty "promotes the acceptance of the crime of torture, as a legitimate weapon in America’s so-called war on terror" and "makes heroes of Americans who commit the crime of torture," before calling for the film to be boycotted by Oscar voters.
As can be inferred by the film's numerous Oscar nominations, the suggestion didn't take, but it still ruffled a few feathers at the film's distribution company, Sony Picture Entertainment - namely that of co-Chairman Amy Pascal.
Responding to Clennon's criticisms, Pascal reiterated what has been said in defense of the film since its release last month: "Zero Dark Thirty does not advocate torture."
Her statement, as released:
"To not include that part of history would have been irresponsible and inaccurate. We fully support Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal and stand behind this extraordinary movie. We are outraged that any responsible member of the Academy would use their voting status in AMPAS as a platform to advance their own political agenda. This film should be judged free of partisanship. To punish an Artist’s right of expression is abhorrent. This community, more than any other, should know how reprehensible that is. While we fully respect everyone’s right to express their opinion, this activity is really an affront to the Academy and artistic creative freedom. This attempt to censure one of the great films of our time should be opposed. As Kathryn Bigelow so appropriately said earlier this week, 'depiction is not endorsement, and if it was, no artist could ever portray inhumane practices; no author could ever write about them; and no filmmaker could ever delve into the knotty subjects of our time.' We believe members of the Academy will judge the film on its true merits and will tune out the wrongful and misdirected rhetoric."
As previously reported, the Senate is currently conducting an investigation into who exactly filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal spoke to at the CIA during the making of the film to determine if any Agency members gave them "inappropriate" access to secret materials. Both Boal and Bigelow have denied being given access to any such materials.
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