Sony Pictures Entertainment issued a blunt statement on Friday defending the Osama bin Laden film “Zero Dark Thirty” from an Academy Award voter who accused the movie of promoting torture.
David Clennon, an Emmy Award-winning actor and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announced in an op-ed for the leftist website Truthout that he would not be voting for “Zero Dark Thirty” in any Oscar categories because of its torture scenes.
“At the risk of being expelled for disclosing my intentions, I will not be voting for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ – in any Academy Awards category,” Clennon wrote. “Torture is an appalling crime under any circumstances. ‘Zero’ never acknowledges that torture is immoral and criminal. It does portray torture as getting results.”
But Sony executive Amy Pascal pushed back against Clennon’s assertions, stating bluntly: “Zero Dark Thirty does not advocate torture. To not include that part of history would have been irresponsible and inaccurate.”
Pascal said the the studio is “outraged that any responsible member of the Academy would use their voting status in AMPAS as a platform to advance their own political agenda.”
“This film should be judged free of partisanship. To punish an Artist’s right of expression is abhorrent. This community, more than any other, should know how reprehensible that is,” she said.
The Kathryn Bigelow-directed film, which received five Academy Award nominations, has been dogged by criticism nearly from its inception amid reports that Obama administration officials leaked or provided classified information to filmmakers.