Wednesday, November 01, 2006

We've been Kazakhed!

From today's bulging "get over yourself" file. Yes, Roma (gypsies) have had a rough time in Europe, with a particularly nasty stretch when the Nazis tried to exterminate them. Saying, however, that a Jewish comedian's very spot-on lampooning of racism and narrow-mindedness (by making mock through the age-old vehicle of parody) will incite more violence is just stupid. To agree with their line of logic, you'd have to believe that the type of morons who become active racists would watch the movie and think Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat" character would be the kind of guy who would inspire you. Now, the Kazakhs, on the other hand, have a right to complain, but no film ever turned the corner financially by hitting big in Kazakhstan.

A human rights group campaigning for gypsies has filed a complaint against British comic Sacha Baron Cohen over his "Borat" film featuring a spoof Kazakh journalist who calls himself a former "gypsy catcher," German prosecutors said.
The state prosecutor's office in the northern city of Hamburg said the European Center for Antiziganism Research had brought the complaint accusing Cohen of slander, inciting violence against the Sinti and Roma gypsy groups and violating Germany's anti-discrimination law.
"Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" premiered last week in London and is due to hit German cinemas Thursday.
Twentieth Century Fox of Germany, the film's distributor here, pulled television commercials and Internet advertising that featured tongue-in-cheek talks of running over "gypsies" with a Hummer military vehicle after complaints by the group.
The organization noted in a statement last month that violent crimes by right-wing extremists had risen this year by 20 percent and called it "irresponsible" to tolerate the racist jokes made in the film.
Germany has strict rules governing speech that could been seen as defaming minorities, particularly groups such as Sinti and Roma that were targeted for genocide by the Nazis.

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