The Film Industry's Selective Bravery

Jack E. Kemp

In Brooke Goldstein's and Aaron Meyer's book "Lawfare: the war against free speech," there is a reference concerning perceived Islamist pressure on the motion picture industry that lead to a significant case of self-censorship.

Goldstein and Meyer quoted The Guardian, which stated in 2009 that:


He blew up the Empire State Building and the White House in Independence Day, sent a giant monster careering through the heart of Manhattan in Godzilla and destroyed the famous Hollywood sign in The Day After Tomorrow. But it seems there are places even Roland Emmerich will not go - the German film-maker has revealed he abandoned plans to obliterate Islam's holiest site on the big screen for fear of attracting a fatwa.

For his latest disaster movie, 2012, the 53-year-old director had wanted to demolish the Kaaba, the iconic cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque in Mecca that Muslims the world over turn towards every day when they pray and which they circle seven times during the hajj pilgrimage.

But after some consideration, he decided it might not be such a smart idea, after all.

"I wanted to do that, I have to admit," Emmerich told scifiwire.com. "But my co-writer Harald [Kloser] said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right.

The Huffington Post's Popeater website also quoted Emmerlich as saying:


Fans of disaster movies shouldn't fear that Emmerich is losing his edge. The director, who did include a destruction shot of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, pushed plenty of other buttons. "Because I'm against organized religion," Emmerich explained.

"The whole Vatican kind of tips and kind of rolls over the people. It said something, because in the story, some people ... believe in praying and prayer, and they pray in front of the church, and it's probably the wrong thing, what they would do in that situation."


So the next time someone from the motion picture industry - or one of their fans (be they from the media or just a movie buff) - talks about how brave, edgy and willing to "push the envelope" major film makers are, tell them about "2012" versus itself or "Independence Day." Ask them why Roland Emmerich refused to show a scene where the Kaaba was destroyed while he had no problem with showing the famous statue in Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janiero being destroyed. I'm fairly sure you will be in for a convoluted explanation of religious tolerance - which is really a mask to cover an example of unwillingness to "push the envelope" in the face of a perceived violent intolerance of differing opinions. It is almost formulaic: the more the film industry is willing to insult Christianity and Judaism, the less willing it is to insult Islam. Guess who the film industry winds up supporting, in at least a de facto manner?

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Comment by Juls on April 24, 2012 at 10:31am

Thanks for the lesson Virginia.  Puts a whole different perspective on the subject. 

Comment by hunter60 on April 24, 2012 at 9:42am

America is squarely in the sights of the two greatest evils the world has ever known. Leftist ideology which forms the worlds most successful political mass murder cult and Islam which forms the worlds largest quasi-religious/political mass murder cult.


Emmerich is a coward.

Comment by Donna F. Fallis on April 24, 2012 at 9:14am

There are approximately 65-percent that are hypocrites and another 25-percent that hide their conservatism...and then you have those that openly display their conservative side. The 65-percent will likely be the has-been's by the end of this century. It's good to see them go down in that great fiery bubble they lifted themselves in...:)

Comment by Ernie Webb on April 24, 2012 at 9:03am

The problem of "selective courage" is not a disease restricted to the film industry.  It is more and more common among the ordinary folks in America. We are becoming more and more a nation of sheep---- afraid to stir the pot---- for fear of harassment by the far left-- and our own govt.---  Arpaio and the fed--- Ted Nugent and the fed--- and these guys have at least some power to fight back--- and money to get lawyers to fight back. Most of us cannot afford to face this much heat---- so, we stay hunkered down.  Maher can make comments about Santorum's wife and vibrators and nothing happens---- imagine if his remarks had been directed at obama's wife???!!!  The liberal left would proclaim that "he should know about vibrators--- he was suckled on one as a child" or, some other such comment-----  and he would probably have lost his TV  show.  Americans traditionally do not stand up and fight back until we are either experiencing pain--- or a really big threat.   Well, we are getting close----- to both.  Our own "selective courage" will continue until we feel this pain---- but, I believe it is close upon us.  The only way we can avoid this is to get out and vote---- and get your neighbors out.

Comment by Juls on April 24, 2012 at 9:02am

Isn't it inspiring when a man of principle is so willing to stand by his convictions?  What a joke.  This guy is a weasel. 

Comment by MUG on April 24, 2012 at 8:43am


He is certain Christians will not put a price on his head of $1 million dead-or-alive.

He is certain Islam will put a price on his head!

Comment by Deb in Texas on April 24, 2012 at 8:38am

They have really placed the fear into EVERYbody which is how they are managing to take over.  Lets just start placing Pig Roasts all over and see how far they get!  Pork, according to God, is the "unclean" animal but it may just be our life saver!

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