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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:45 AM

Academy member calls for Oscars boycott of Zero Dark Thirty [View all]

January 14, 2013

David Clennon has urged others to snub Kathryn Bigelow film at awards for 'promoting acceptance of the crime of torture'

Hollywood studio Sony has been forced into a fresh defence of the controversial film Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, after a member of the body that organises the Oscars called for a boycott.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas) member David Clennon said last week he would not be voting for Kathryn Bigelow's film, which has been nominated for five Oscars, and urged others to snub a movie that he said "promotes the acceptance of the crime of torture, as a legitimate weapon in America's so-called War on Terror". Writing on the truth-out.org website, he added: "I cannot vote for a film that makes heroes of Americans who commit the crime of torture."

In response, Sony president Amy Pascal said she was "outraged" that an Academy member would try to influence the voting process. "Zero Dark Thirty does not advocate torture," she said on Friday. "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."

While Zero Dark Thirty remains in the running for five Oscars, it already appears to have slipped behind frontrunners such as Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Ang Lee's Life of Pi owing to the ongoing controversy over whether Bigelow and Boal endorsed torture by their depiction of its use in the film, and whether that depiction was accurate. Bigelow surprisingly failed to receive a nod for best director when the Oscar nominations were announced on Thursday, and Zero Dark Thirty will compete only for best film, best original screenwriting, best actress (Jessica Chastain) and two editing prizes.

in full: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/jan/14/oscars-boycott-zero-dark-thirty

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