The Zero Dark Thirty torture conversation shows no sign of abating. Sony’s co-chairman Amy Pascal responded to claims from AMPAS member, actor David Clennon (Miles from Thirtysomething), that Zero Dark Thirty advocates torture. Clennon said he would not vote for Zero Dark Thirty in any category because it “makes heroes of Americans who commit the crime of torture.” He also urged other Academy voters to not vote for the film as well. Here is Pascal’s response:
Zero Dark Thirty does not advocate torture. 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.
Pascal’s statement comes on the heels of the senate investigation into Zero Dark Thirty and Bigelow’s Oscar snub. Despite the controversy surrounding the film it certainly did not hurt its nationwide expansion over the weekend. It made $24 million, taking the number one spot at the box office. This gross is higher than the $17 million total gross for her Oscar winning film The Hurt Locker.
Below see Bigelow’s appearance on Letterman. This was one of the first interviews where she appeared without Mark Boal. It clearly makes a difference. She comes off as strong and tough and Dave clearly is a big fan. She really now seems to have found her voice.
‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ in Wider Release, Captures Box-Office Crown (The New York Times)