Press Release Headlines

Writer and Director of The Last War Crime Says YouTube Has Censored Waterboarding Scene

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 28, 2011 — Though still not even in official release, the writer and director of "The Last War Crime" says that YouTube is already trying to suppress the movie, which is a new full-length feature film about indicting Dick Cheney for torture. The movie's writer and director, who goes by the name of The Pen, asks, "And isn't that something billions of people want to see?" But, says The Pen, YouTube does not want their visitors to see the preview clip of the waterboarding scene from the movie, for the purported reason that it contains nudity, or is otherwise sexually provocative. And a protest is mobilizing against this accusation.

"That's ridiculous," exclaims Pen. "There is no actual nudity in it … none. The actor playing the detainee wore a swimmer's style bathing suit the entire time, and we positioned the female interrogator character so view of his midriff was blocked entirely in any case. And if they're complaining this scene is sexually suggestive, they need to ban half the rest of the movies on their site."

The purpose of the scene in the movie is to condemn waterboarding, long recognized to be a form of torture unequivocally. According to The Pen, the scene also serves to remind everyone that the sexual taunting of helpless and mostly innocent captives, in places like Abu Ghraib, was a deliberate part of a de facto program to degrade people in violation of the Geneva Conventions. But YouTube makes no provision on their site to challenge their own unilateral dictates.

Says Pen, "Shame on YouTube for censoring this clip, which we believe, and we think you will agree, is part of an important cultural and artistic statement of social commentary. We have already submitted the movie to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Cinequest Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, SXSW, the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Film Festival, seven of the top breakout venues for serious works of new film art."

Pen continues, "And shame on YouTube further for deleting our waterboarding scene in such a summary and authoritarian manner. We had to build our own video server to do it, but people can now again see the clip for themselves on our new website."

On the same web page is an action form configured to automatically send protests to YouTube. And Pen is asking everyone to submit this form to send their own personal messages of complaint. Pen is demanding that YouTube immediately restore the wrongfully deleted waterboarding scene from "The Last War Crime" movie, and put in place an accessible review process so nothing like this can ever happen again. Hoping thousands of people will join with him, Pen suggests, "Maybe that will start to get YouTube's attention."


The Pen
Writer and director of The Last War Crime
310-494-0114 (voice and fax)

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