Spielberg: Right Move, Wrong Reasons
Steven Spielberg's decision to withdraw from involvement in Beijing 2008 is laudable (I suspect premeditated from the moment he first signed up), yet misguided. Of all the things he could have chosen to remark upon, choosing Darfur merely gives Beijing ammunition against him as quoted below.
If anything, it is counterproductive. Those who called for Spielberg's 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha to be banned in China are probably rubbing their hands with glee.
By now the Chinese media corps will busily be drafting editorials brimming with righteous indignation. How dare he meddle in our internal affairs! Had Spielberg commented on human rights, democracy, censorship, political prisoners, corruption, pollution, trade practices, Xinjiang or Tibet, on the other hand, the presses would be silent.
Hollywood stars have been at the forefront of an international campaign linking China to violence in the Darfur region of Sudan, saying that money and weapons from Beijing have helped fuel a conflict which has claimed 200,000 lives and forced 2.5 million people from their homes.
But the Chinese embassy in Washington said attempts to connect Darfur with the Beijing games goes against the Olympic spirit. "As the Darfur issue is neither an internal issue of China, nor is it caused by China, it is completely unreasonable, irresponsible and unfair for certain organisations and individuals to link the two as one," it said in a statement.