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 ]