ACTION ALERT
ADC Press Release/Action Alert:
Protest Paramount’s Racist Film
“Rules of Engagement”

The following press release and full text of ADC’s open letter to Paramount Pictures about “Rules of Engagement” give a complete guide to this deeply racist and offensive film.

ACTION REQUESTED:
Please contact Paramount Pictures and let them know that such blatant anti-Arab racism is unacceptable. Write to:
Ms. Sherry Lansing, Chair
Paramount Motion Pictures Group
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038-3197
Or fax to: (323) 862-8456
Or email: 5555@paramount.com

Please use the letter and/or press release below as talking points, and please cc any correspondence to <adc@adc.org>.

ADC is also encouraging its members and chapters to consider organizing protests and pickets at cinemas showing “Rules of Engagement.” If ever a film deserved to be protested, this is it. Please contact ADC for advice or assistance.

TEXT OF ADC PRESS RELEASE: Arab Americans Denounce Paramount’s Racist Film “Rules of Engagement” Washington D.C., April 11 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest grassroots Arab-American organization, in an open letter to Paramount Pictures Chair Shelly Lansing denounced the new Paramount film “Rules of Engagement.” Released on Friday, “Rules of Engagement” was the number one grossing film over the weekend earning $15 million. ADC writes that “‘Rules of Engagement can only be considered in the same light as other films whose raison d’etre is to deliberately and systematically vilify an entire people, such as ‘Birth of a Nation’ and ‘The Eternal Jew.’”

The letter from ADC’s Communications Director Hussein Ibish to Paramount says that while the film contains countless negative portrayals of Arabs, “sympathetic or positive images of Arabs are easy to list: there are none.” Offensive material includes:

- Repeated portrayals of Arab children as hateful, vicious and murderous. These children are shown several times shooting guns at the film’s US Marine protagonists and shouting curses.

- The portrayal of Yemeni society as an anti-American mob just waiting to erupt at any second. The images of Arabs in the film are solely stereotypical - veiled women, men in headscarfs and all shouting fanatical, angry slogans and firing automatic weapons at a peaceful US embassy.

- Everyone in Yemen is complicit in the anti-American violence. Witnesses lie. The police lie. Doctors lie. Everyone in Yemen lies. Meanwhile, the streets are literally strewn with cassette tapes calling, again without any apparent reason, for “all good Muslims” to kill any and all Americans they can find. Yemen, we are assured, is a “breeding ground” for terrorists.

ADC first contacted Paramount with concerns about “Rules of Engagement” in January, but received no cooperation. ADC wrote that “In spite of this almost total lack of cooperation from Paramount, we continued to hope against hope that ‘Rules of Engagement’ would not be defamatory against Arabs, and showing the utmost restraint, withheld judgment until viewing the movie in a commercial cinema after its general release.” The letter continues: “In retrospect, it is easy to understand why Paramount stonewalled all our attempts at dialogue and refused even the elementary courtesy of a pre-release screening ... [since] these are the images that define the Arab as the quintessential ‘other,’ and depict all Arabs, men, women and children, as the inherent, irrational and implacable terrorist enemy of the United States. They make the everyday lives of Arab-Americans and Arabs in the United States that much more difficult and dangerous.”

Click Here to read the full text of ADC's letter to Paramount

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
4201 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20008, U.S.A.
Tel: (202) 244-2990, Fax: (202) 244-3196
E-mail: adc@adc.org
Web: http://www.adc.org
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ADC is the largest Arab-American grassroots organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. To receive ADC's email updates, send a message to <majordomo@adc.org> with the following in the body: to subscribe type "subscribe updates"


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