CATEGORIES Comedy, Celebrities and Controversy, 20th Century Fox, Movie Marketing, Politics, Movie News, CinematicalSPOILER ALERT: If you don't want to know anything about the film Borat: Cultural Learnings on America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (God, I'm sick of typing that lengthy title), don't read this article.
While some people may not be aware of just who Borat is and why he has a movie, over in Germany they're plenty aware -- and plenty unhappy about Borat describing himself as a "former gypsy catcher." That's not going over too well in Germany, where a human rights group called the European Centre for Antiziganism Research has filed a complaint alleging the film violates Germany's anti-discrimination laws by slandering the Sinti and Roma gypsy tribes and inciting violence against them. The film's distributor, 20th Century Fox, pulled ads in Germany that talked tongue-in-cheek about running gypsies over with a Hummer. Germany has strict laws about speech that could be seen as defaming minorities.
Here's what I find really interesting, though: We have a German human rights group lambasting Borat for defaming the gypsies -- but what about the Jews? Given Germany's history, and given that Germany's anti-defamation laws were put in place especially to protect those groups persecuted by the Nazis, I kind of wonder why no one has stepped up over there to complain about the "Running of the Jews" sequence in the film -- which, if you're going to be offended by the film, is one of its more potentially offensive moments. The "Running of the Jews" bit -- a play, of course, on Spain's running of the bulls -- has a person with a giant green papier-maché head with an enormous nose and devil horns being chased by a crowd as they throw fake money to appease him. Then another person with a female head -- referred to as a "Jewess" -- comes along and lays a giant egg, and the children in the crowd are encouraged to kick, hit, and destroy the Jew egg before it hatches.
So this begs the question: Why the German hooplah over the gypsy slander, but not a peep about the Jewish sequence, which (for me at least) is far more cringe-inducing? I realize this is a complaint brought by a human rights group, not the German government, but it's just odd that the Jew routine wouldn't have someone over there filling out reams of paperwork at the state prosecutor's office.
[ via Movie City News ]