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article imageOp-Ed: AMPAS Iran Visit Spits In The Face of Gays, Women, Jews and Film

By Johnny Simpson     Mar 3, 2009 in Entertainment
A delegation led by AMPAS prez Sid Ganis and actress Annette Bening left last Friday for Iran, a regime that treats women as less than dogs, strings up gays from crane wires to die of slow suffocation and swears genocide to the Jews. Where to next? Sudan?
That's called a pitch in Hollywood, by the way.
To be absolutely clear, this OpEd is not a broadside against the Iranian people or their culture, just as a broadside against Hitler and the Nazis wouldn't have been a slam against the German people or their rich culture, which I respect immensely and enjoy frequently in the form of some of the finest classical music ever written.
But ordinary people and culture are the first things to be squashed under the thumb of a ruthless, cruel and megalomaniac dictator like Hitler. The Iranian people are likewise suffering greatly under their unimaginably oppressive yoke.
Also, many ordinary Germans, including stalwarts like the White Rose members, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Count von Stauffenburg (the subject of the film VALKYRIE) risked and lost their lives to bring down Hitler and the Nazis, just as those in Iran who stand up defiantly to Amhadinejad et al are beaten, imprisoned, tortured and even murdered.
Hell, you can get all that just for being gay in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is one of the main points of this OpEd.
It is de facto Iran's Night and Fog policy. We should do all we can to support those brave freedom-loving Iranians as we supported the Resistance in Occupied France.
But make no mistake. This IS a no-holds-barred slam against the nine AMPAS members who went to Iran and seem to be light years beyond clueless in this matter.
This past Friday, when I caught the news that a gold-plated AMPAS delegation was setting off for the repressive women-stoning, gay-hanging, Jew-murdering, student- and private citizen-butchering religious thugocracy of Iran on a so-called cultural mission, I was so outraged I could have smashed my computer and never written another goddamn word for film again.
That part may be academic now. I have given the Academy both public and private hell since and even punk'd them PR-wise, having been the first to break the 'Iran Demands Apology from Hollywood Team' story in the US off the France24 website to Nikki Finke and Drudge. Very bad PR. Ms. Finke even used my byline AMPAS GETS PUNK'D BY IRAN.
All this, after Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black made such impassioned pleas for gay rights at the Oscars (which no doubt must have been approved by the Academy beforehand). Yet only five short days later they send a top-shelf delegation to give its gold-plated stamp of approval to a regime that brutalizes women even for the clothes they wear and treats gays in a manner that would make even Atilla The Hun cringe, led by a leader who says there are no gays in Iran then does everything possible to make statement a reality.
You know, Mel Brooks once famously said in his classic TO BE OR NOT TO BE after the Nazis hauled off half his Warsaw theater company, "Without Jews, fags and Gypsies there IS no theater!"
Must be pretty paltry pickings in Iranian theater right now. Ya think?
Not only that, the AMPAS team is promised a non-political cultural exchange after getting visas approved personally by President Obama (due to the sanctions), and as soon as they set down in Iran they're told they can't meet with their Iranian counterparts until and unless they apologize for three decades of cultural insults in Hollywood films, in particular 300 and The Wrestler.
They wanted a highly public Show Biz Trial, complete with contrite confessions under duress.
Just like Orwell wrote about and Stalin used to do.
In other words, they got PUNK'D! Let 'em fly all the way over there with the promise of no politics, then hit 'em as soon as they landed in Tehran with the conditional apology demand. And whether they apologize or not, they're screwed either way PR-wise. And PR is everything in Hollywood.
Now THAT'S Comedy! Couldn't have scripted it better!
Now I see the funny side.
See, the Iranians found The Wrestler offensive because Mickey Rourke battles an opponent know as The Ayatollah who chokes him in the ring with an Iranian flag, which Rourke then grabs, breaks over his knee and tosses into the crowd. This, from a regime that not only desecrates the American flag as a national sport, but paints DEATH TO AMERICA on all its missiles!
And that doesn't even take into account all the Nuremberg-like Death To America hate-fest rallies.
They found 300 offensive because it portrays Iranians as warlike, vicious and bloodthirsty. Now how in the world could anyone have possibly gotten THAT idea?
Where to next for an AMPAS cultural exchange? Sudan?
They better be ready to apologize to genocide master and Dear Leader Gen. Omar Bashir for LOST BOYS OF SUDAN. Maybe they can send George Clooney, LOL!
By the way, I wonder if the delegation asked about missing American reporter and former Miss North Dakota Roxana Saberi, who has been detained by the Iranian government and held incommunicado in some Tehran hellhole since. It seems Ms. Saberi sold a bottle of alcohol or something. Not that a misogynist police state like Iran really needs a reason. She's a woman and an American citizen. She might as well be a dirty Jewess.
Shouldn't be a problem for The Nine Stooges. They're right there. And they can always get prostrate and plead for forgiveness for being rude to their hosts for such impudence after.
Oh, and it gets better in Iran for AMPAS. The Iranian Foreign Minister, Hassan Qashqavi, complained there are 30 anti-Iranian movies currently in production in Hollywood.
Screw the apologies! Why don't we just bring Mr. Qashqavi over as Hollywood's Film Culture Minister to oversee all film production? Nip it in the bud so we don't have to apologize anymore. Two birds with one stone!
Hollywood starlets can all start wearing wearing burqas too, just like Annette Benning and Alfre Woodard. Wouldn't want to be culturally insensitive with a Mad Mullah running the show now, would we? And they can call it a fashion statement to excuse all the oppression away :)
By the way, Mr. Qashqavi doesn't like our human rights reports much either. Something else to apologize for.
The hypocrisy is so great here it boggles the mind.
Here is AMPAS, an organization firmly dedicated to the cause of gay rights and whose members have been quite vociferous in their condemnation of the Mormon church and proponents of Prop 8, even boycotting and blacklisting them. Tom Hanks even called them un-American.
Well, if the Mormon church and 52% of California voters are guilty of being homophobic and un-American for opposing gay marriage, then what is the AMPAS delegation guilty of for giving its gold-plated boot-licking PR stamp of approval to a megalomaniac regime that tortures and slaughters gays with relish to huge cheering crowds?
What did they hope to accomplish? A wide release of MILK and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN in a homophobic theocracy? Staging ROMEO AND JULIAN or LA CAGE AU FOLLES in Tehran? Good luck with that!
Diplomacy? Good luck with that too! They're under sanction from the UN and half the nations on earth! Even liberal demigod and now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just declared Iran probably won't agree to talks on its nuke program.
A culture bridge? You want current Iranian culture in film? Check these classics out!
Here are some great Iran TV documentaries reviewing such Ziono-Hollywoodist classics as SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, AMERICAN HISTORY X, HARRY POTTER, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (figures!), MEET THE PARENTS, even CHICKEN RUN and POTC: DEAD MAN'S CHEST!!
Oh, and did you know TOM AND JERRY was also a Zionist conspiracy by the infamous Jew Walt Disney?
Here's a partial transcript (verbatim):
"Some say that this creation (Tom and Jerry) by Walt Disney will be remembered forever. The Jewish Walt Disney Company gained international fame with this cartoon. It is still shown throughout the world. This cartoon maintains its status because of the cute antics of the cat and mouse – especially the mouse.
Some say that the main reason for making this very appealing cartoon was to erase a certain derogatory term that was prevalent in Europe.
If you study European history, you will see who was the main power to hoard money and wealth, in the 19th century. In most cases, it is the Jews. Perhaps that was one of the reasons which caused Hitler to begin the anti-Semitic trend, and then the extensive propaganda about the crematoria began.
Some of this is true. We do not deny all of it. Watch Schindler's List. Every Jew was forced to wear a yellow star on his clothing. The Jews were degraded and termed "dirty mice." Tom and Jerry was made in order to change the Europeans' perception of mice. One of terms used was "dirty mice."
I'd like to tell you that... It should be noted that mice are very cunning...and dirty.
No ethnic group or people operates in such a clandestine manner as the Jews
Boy! Are psychotics intricate or what?
This most cerebral TOM AND JERRY analysis, by the way, was orated by the esteemed Professor Hasan Bolkhari, an Iranian government 'mass media expert' and cultural advisor to the Iranian Education Ministry. Much as I'm sure Josef Goebbels was a mass media expert for Hitler.
It's also a very sick and familiar song. Schindler's List is probably the good Professor Bolkhari's favorite comedy!
Iranian TV also reported that the Worldwide Zionist Conspiracy also extends to Coca Cola, Marlboro, Hugo Boss, McDonalds, Disney, Garnier, Tommy Hilfiger, and L'Oreal. I'm sure that's all just for starters.
And oh yeah, The Economist and National Geographic magazines are banned, too. Seems the Zionist conspirators at both magazines called the 'Persian Gulf' the 'Arabian Gulf' on a new atlas map. Or, in the case of The Economist, committed the fatal sin of referring to the same NGM map. No word on any apologies.
In other words, EVERYTHING is a Zionist conspiracy!
Hitler had days like this, too. Enemies everywhere!
Not enough for ya? Here's their idea of children's programming!
The animation is a little rough around the edges. Maybe the Academy can have Dreamworks or Pixar send some CG crews over to help the Iranians polish them up.
In the name of cultural exchange, of course.
For testosterone-driven Iranian teens, we have the following not-quite-ready-for-MTV music video.
Must have been one HELL of a honeymoon!
This is all so eerily reminiscent of the Third Reich and the Hitler Youth it's scary.
That said, I'll bet if they were alive today, Josef Goebbels and Hitler both would be standing in awe of Iranian film 'culture'.
I am so glad Ganis and Bening et al are interacting and talking shop with such erudite and sophisticated stalwarts of celluloid.
No word on if AMPAS members in Iran (or The Nine Stooges, as I like to call them now) apologized for 300, The Wrestler or all of their other celluloid sins, but I find it oddly curious that they were suddenly granted access to their Iranian counterparts not long after.
So was it just a publicity stunt to squeeze them and show them their place? Or were the Iranian cultural experts satisfied with private Stalin-like contrite confessions (which no doubt centered on the real focus of evil in the world, George W. Bush)?
Either or, they return home humiliated one way or the other.
Oh well. At least two of them got Stooge Awards as consolation prizes.
But wait! There's more!
The topper?
Today, Iranian filmmaker Alireza Davudnejad sent an open letter to President Obama over at the Tehran Times. Seems the only way we can really achieve peace, freedom and justice is to give up our veto power at the UN and dismantle all our nuclear weapons, i.e. unilaterally disarm both diplomatically and militarily:
“The source of insecurity in the world is rooted in the right of veto by member nations of the UN Security Council. This veto right allows the last word to belong to the one who kills the most and the fastest.
“As long as the earth is threatened by thousands of missiles with nuclear warheads, talking about peace, justice, and freedom is merely playing with words.
“My first recommendation to you is to relinquish the veto right voluntarily and dismantle all nuclear weapons unilaterally.
“Declare that the United States will never make use of the wild card right of veto during your presidency and present a schedule for destruction of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.'
Sorry, D.
You forgot to use the Magic Word.
I can only imagine how The Nine Stooges would respond to that, although their peace, freedom and justice-seeking compadre in Iranian film did manage to give them one last backhand in parting:
“My last recommendation is not to follow your previous cultural policies and avoid your Hollywood friends from playing any tricks to dominate the cinemas of Iran. The United States once removed Iranian cinema from the Iranian life with the help of the former dictatorship; and sacrificed our industry with the import of foreign films. The fallen cinema of Iran has once again regained its footing with the Islamic Revolution and has been fighting to survive for thirty years.
“We will not forgive the enemies of this cinema wherever they are. By the way, which is harder, to relinquish the veto right, or to forbear the domination of Iran’s cinema again?
“You have a hard path ahead. I pray for you. Only the right path has no deviation,” the letter ends.
Ya got all that, Sid?
No more Zionist tricks! Or they won't even give you the chance to apologize next time!
Q. What is the difference between Mr. Davudnejad and the AMPAS team?
A. He's a domestic film industry stooge.
My response to Iran's Mohatma Gandhi?
I believe the US Defense Department should paint DEATH TO IRAN on a few air, ground and sub-based ICBMs and send the pictures to the Iranian Culture Ministry. Maybe even send a few such labeled dud Minutemen into some of their terrorist training camps.
It's not like it'll lower their opinion of us any. And it might just send a message they can understand. No innocents gets hurt in either case, and the message gets heard loud and clear.
THAT is how you stop a war, just as it is how you stop a reprobate bully. Not by sharing tea and pleasantries or showing weak-kneed capitulation but by displaying strength, and the willingness to use it without reservation if provoked, .
Not holding my breath on that one. Don't wanna rock the boat these days, don't ya know.
But like George Patton said, "I'm no diplomat!" The kind of Neville Chamberlain diplomacy AMPAS is engaging in to achieve Peace In Our Time is even far more dangerously naive than believing you can stop crime by taking all the cops off the streets.
I wonder.
What would Harvey Milk and Matthew Shepherd think about AMPAS' conjugal visit to Iran?
MILK screenwriter and Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black has been eerily silent on this blatantly egregious episode of AMPAS' cognitive dissonance. So have many other LGBT reps and organizations, although I do give them credit. They have gone to war with their real enemies, and it is Us.
Yet their silence on AMPAS' fawning pilgrimage to the women-stoning gay-hanging Hitlers in headscarves is deafening.
Ironically, it is only the right-leaning conservatives they accuse of being the real Nazis of today who are speaking out in force against this abomination.
Not KOS. Not HuffPo. Not even the New York Times, although I did find in the Times' OpEd section a useful idiot named Roger Cohen who says Iran isn't as bad as all that.
How screwed is that?
Well, given the odd company, maybe not so much.
And Cohen's at the Times. Whattaya want? Lord Haw Haw lives!
You know, people, the more I look at the Islamic Republic of Iran, the more I see the Third Reich of the 21th Century. All the same characteristics: persecution of dissenters, Jews, gays, women, calls for genocide of the Jews, and massive arming for war, all at the same time externalizing the evils of what they do onto their democratic foes. It's a total fingerprint match.
And if they want apologies for past wrongs, maybe they could start with the 444-day long 1979 Embassy Hostage Seizure, the bombing by proxy Hezbollah of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed over 300 US Marines and French soldiers there on an international peacekeeping mission, the shipping of armor piercing EFPs to Iraq which have killed dozens of US soldiers, and so many other crimes against us in particular and humanity in general it's making me dizzy.
Will I pay a price in the industry as a screenwriter for such slanderous insults to Hollywood, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and some of their top members for this egregious affront?
I'm hoping just an apology will do. I'll be real contrite :)
But as with the Iranians, it may never be enough. Once offended, always offended. But unlike the dead crane-hung gays in Iran whom they betrayed, I can always assume another name to hide who I am.
Even have a front, LOL!
Speaking of apologies, it never ends with fascists like the terror mongers in Iran who offend everyone beyond belief yet take violent offense at every slight, both real and imagined.
Like the Jewish inmates at Auschwitz, it doesn't matter what you do, how much you apologize or how contrite you are. The arbitrary and capricious hate and the boot on the neck never stops. And the end result is always the same. They're like bullies who taunt you relentlessly, then want you to apologize for making them beat you up. Far worse, actually.
Last word.
For those of you who want to play Lord Haw Haw or Tokyo Rose for the bloodstained butchers of Iran by turning the coin back on us, you can talk about the overthrow, the Shah and the CIA all you want. That was then, this is now.
The Islamic Republic has has thirty years of control of Iran, and it is a lot worse now than it ever was under the Shah. Reality is reality. Nothing you say changes the fact that the psychotic Iran thugocracy is as ruthless, brutal, demanding, lying and merciless as Hitler's ever was. Or any of the mountain of revolting inhuman evidence I've provided here.
Pictures speak louder than useful idiots.
Dialogue? Hitler loved to talk! Was his favorite thing, sipping tea with European diplomats and promising if they would only fulfill his ONE LAST DEMAND, all would be peace in our time. Just one more.
It's always one more. One more apology. One more concession. Just like with Hitler and the Nazis, all while the blood flowed within his borders and without and as he built up for Armageddon, then carried it out as he said he would in Mein Kampf in 1924. As Ahmadinejad is laying it out now for all to see and hear.
Laugh at him if you like. But since he, like Hitler, controls the arsenal and machinery of Iran's brutal dictatorship and burgeoning 'peaceful' nuclear program, I take him very seriously.
Dead serious, in fact.
Can the world afford not to? Again?
When will we ever learn? From another pile of ashes? Too late then.
You can either choose to see that simple fact of history or not.
Where's Dr. Strangelove when you need him?
Lastly, I love film, I love Hollywood, and I even love and respect the Academy.
Just not today.
Because I just happen to love freedom and human rights a little bit more.
If you have an opinion on this subject you'd like to share with the Academy, feel free to contact them here. I'm sure they'd love to hear from you. You can even say Johnny sent ya :)
'nuff said.
Back to my comedy screenplay now. But this has been good practice.
Off the Record, on the QT and very Hush-Hush, of course ;-)
Hope to have something good for ya soon.
Just won't have my name on it :-)
Stay tuned, kiddies!
PS If Hollywood is going to apologize to Iran for cultural abominations on film, I want a few apologies of my own :)
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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