And so may we register not a whit of surprise to learn that a Demi Moore movie for Disney has come under fire.
The film is G.I. Jane, opening today. The critics, the Washington, D.C.- based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The charge: "Disney is apparently on a holy war against Arabs."
That accusation, plus a separate petition drive launched by Catholic leaders against the new fall drama series, Nothing Sacred (to air on Disney-owned ABC), has the Magic Kingdom on the defensive--scrambling to assure the nation's Arabs and Catholics: We have nothing against you. Really.
G.I. Jane--which, after some rough press earlier this year, is fairing well with movie reviewers (the New York Times was generally admiring, calling director Ridley Scott's take on a pioneering woman service member "ferocious")--is, nonetheless, getting the thumbs down from Arab-American leaders because of a "gratuitous end sequence with star Demi Moore and her Navy SEAL chums on a rampage killing Arabs," as the group puts it. (The film was earlier torpedoed by the military for playing fast and loose with its terminology--a G.I. is an Army designation, not a Navy one.)
The final message of the movie, according to the Arab-American committee: "Once again, scores of faceless Arabs bite the dust and the world is better off with their extermination."
Disney sees it differently. "G.I. Jane depicts activity in the Gulf region, where action involving the United States has taken place over the past several years....There was no intent to disparage any people in this film," a statement from the company read Thursday.
As for Nothing Sacred, ABC has finally responded to a petition drive launched by the Catholic League, a Catholic civil rights organization based in New York, against its new Thursday night drama series.
To the group, which is urging Disney Chairman Michael Eisner to "spike" the show because it features a hip priest (played by Kevin Anderson) who is ambivalent about the existence of God, and lax on the church's teachings regarding sex, ABC said, in a statement Thursday, "we understand their sensitivities and we respect their beliefs."
But the network refused to withdraw support for the series, calling it a "quality" show and "an honest depiction of one young priest's desire to balance his faith in God with the challenges of modern life."
Nothing Sacred is set to premiere September 18.