Weeks before the Oscars, Sony Pictures, the studio behind "Zero Dark Thirty," put out this statement: "We are outraged that any responsible member of the Academy would use their voting status in (the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) as a platform to advance their own political agenda. The 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."
To what was Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal referring?
"Zero Dark Thirty," directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, was the target of a vicious, unfair campaign against the film led by members of the supposedly open-minded, tolerant Hollywood left.
The story of the search for Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 terror attacks, is an obvious subject for a major motion picture. To that end, the Obama administration gave Bigelow and Boal what some called "unprecedented" access to the State Department to help make the film as realistic as possible.
One big problem. The film destroyed its chance of winning the Oscar for best picture with one of its first scenes. A captive was waterboarded. Contrary to the assertions of "anti-torture" critics like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others, the film implies that waterboarding actually "worked" -- meaning its use extracted actionable intelligence.
In a rare statement about a movie, the CIA issued a press release. The film, wrote acting CIA Director Mike Morell, "takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate ... . 'Zero Dark Thirty' is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts. ... Whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved." Sens. McCain, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., sent a letter to the studio demanding clarification.
So let the Borking begin.
In condemning "Zero Dark Thirty's" "easy tolerance of torture," actor David Clennon said: "I'm a member of Hollywood's Motion Picture Academy. At the risk of being expelled for disclosing my intentions, I will not be voting for 'Zero Dark Thirty' -- in (SET ITAL) any (END ITAL) Academy Awards category."