Spielberg Drops Out as Adviser to Beijing Olympics in Dispute Over Darfur Conflict

Published: February 13, 2008

WASHINGTON — Steven Spielberg said Tuesday that he was withdrawing as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, after almost a year of trying unsuccessfully to prod President Hu Jintao of China to do more to try to end Sudan’s attacks in the Darfur region.

Mr. Spielberg’s decision, and the public way he announced it, is a blow to China, which has said that its relationship with Sudan should not be linked to the Olympics, which have become a source of national pride.

In a statement sent to the Chinese ambassador and the Beijing Olympic committee on Tuesday, Mr. Spielberg said that his “conscience will not allow me to continue with business as usual.”

“Sudan’s government bears the bulk of the responsibility for these ongoing crimes but the international community, and particularly China, should be doing more to end the continuing human suffering there,” the statement said. “China’s economic, military and diplomatic ties to the government of Sudan continue to provide it with the opportunity and obligation to press for change.”

Responding to Mr. Spielberg’s action, a spokesman at the Chinese Embassy in Washington said, “As the Darfur issue is neither an internal issue of China nor is it caused by China, it is completely unreasonable, irresponsible and unfair to link the two as one.”

Mr. Spielberg had written to Mr. Hu about Darfur twice in the past 10 months, his spokesman said, taking China to task for its “silence” while Sudan blocked the deployment of international peacekeepers and expelled aid workers from the region.


OH MY GOD!! You mean the President of China DARED to ignore a phone call from Stevie Spielberg? Had the TEMERITY to not return the call? As if he thought HIS responsibility for a billion-plus Chinese was somehow more pressing and important than jerking off the public ego of some movie-maker. How dare he?

Hey, Steve -- you make movies, entertainments, and when you do one that has weight to it, like Schindler's List, you somehow forget to give credit at the Academy Awards to Thomas Kenneally, the man who wrote the book you made a movie from. All you seemed to care about that time was that everyone receiving an award paused to kiss your ring on the way to the stage. If it weren't for the writer's thank-you's when receiving an award, Mr. Kenneally's name wouldn't have been mentioned at all.

But ok -- why shouldn't a guy who makes science fiction movies move up to trying to tell a billion people what course of international political action they should take? After all, his clout worked well enough forcing out all the other ideas than his own being done by other people in the Shoah Project.

Talk about the frog who blew himself up.

But we had to know it was coming when he went back to E.T. and changed the guns in the FBI agents' hands to walkie-talkies, so as not to cast any aspersions on the power elite.

And hey -- don't so many of the people HE PAYS talk about what a wonderful guy he is? So he must be, right?

So my suspicions that this is merely a politically correct way of getting out of a committment he made must be wrong.

His place in history is assured -- as Number One (or close to it) on the list of incredibly tiresome persons.


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