Thursday, May 18, 2006

Christans are Fair Game, but Spare the Albinos!

(Original article from The Telegraph (UK).)
A Support group for albinos has added its voice to the criticism of The Da Vinci Code, accusing producers of propagating "cruel stereotypes" by having an albino as villain.

Activists say the film continues a long Hollywood tradition of portraying albinos as evil characters, "mystical freaks and unconscionable assassins".

The film co-stars Paul Bettany, the British actor, as Silas, a red-eyed albino monk who carries out a series of murders in a bid to keep secret a trove of lost Christian documents that could prove Jesus was a husband and father.

Critics say Bettany's character is the latest in a long list of evil albinos, including the dreadlocked twins in The Matrix Reloaded, the white-haired hitman in Foul Play, starring Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn, the sadistic killer in Cold Mountain and even the wicked executioner in the comedy, The Princess Bride.

Michael McGowan, an albino who heads the National Organisation for Albinism and Hypopigmentation, said The Da Vinci Code was the 68th film since 1960 to feature an evil albino.

"The problem is that there has been no balance," he said. "There are no realistic, sympathetic or heroic characters with albinism that you can find in movies or popular culture."

The organisation petitioned the film's producers not to bleach Bettany's hair or make his eyes red but the calls "fell on deaf ears".

Mr McGowan said his group did not plan to boycott the film but hoped to use its profile to raise awareness about the realities of albinism.

Bettany said he looked at Silas not as an evil albino but as a man damaged by his harsh upbringing.I thought, this man's a psychopath and he's not a psychopath because he's an albino," he said.

"He's an amalgamation of everything that happened to him in his life. I think it's no more a comment on albinos than it is on monks, and no more a comment on monks than it is on people who wear sandals."

I just want to make sure I’m clear on the concept here. Christians – especially Catholics - are supposed to just get over the blatant distortions and untruths in The Da Vinci Code because, after all guys, it’s just a work of fiction. Evil murdering monks from Opus Dei; Saint Mary Magdalene reengineered as Mrs. Christ – can’t you Christians take a joke already? But a murdering albino monk from Opus Dei – well, now you’ve gone too far!

It brings me back to The Waffler’s irrefutable proof for the existence of God: no imaginable physical process could possibly produce a world this surrealistically funny.