Written by David Morgan
Steven Spielberg will not be the artistic adviser to this year's Beijing Olympics as planned. The director has cited the Chinese government's lack of action regarding the Darfur genocide.
According to Variety, "As the biggest customer for Sudan's oil, China has been the target of Darfur advocates for the better part of a year, much to the dismay of Chinese officials who have complained that the Games were being politicized."
Spielberg had been pressing the Chinese government to intervene for some time, and some Darfur advocates, including actress Mia Farrow, had even criticized Spielberg for taking this job in the "Genocide Olympics." Farrow even went so far as to compare Spielberg to Leni Riefenstahl, the Nazi propagandist who filmed the 1936 Olympics in Berlin as well as the seminal Third Reich documentary classic Triumph of the Will. Ouch! Nice play, Mia Farrow. I bet Spielberg hates being compared to Nazis! Or then again, should Godwin's Law be invoked?
Apparently Spielberg hadn't done much in the way of preparing for the event anyway. He took a plane to Beijing a year ago, and he hadn't even signed the contract the Beijing Organizing Committee sent him. So good for him for invoking his conscience before he got too involved.