China loses Spielberg over Darfur

Marketplace Staff Feb 13, 2008
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China loses Spielberg over Darfur

Marketplace Staff Feb 13, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Steven Spielberg will have nothing to do with the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Yesterday, Spielberg withdrew as an artistic advisor for the opening and closing ceremonies. The director says he can’t be associated with China’s policies toward an African nation in conflict. Bill Marcus has more.


Bill Marcus: China’s a big oil customer of Sudan. China also supplies Sudan with weapons. That’s why Spielberg says he quit. He said China should do more to help end the human suffering in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Human rights activists say Spielberg’s move sets a moral standard. One public relations manager says it’s a worrying development that’ll probably keep Olympic advertisers up at night. But, on the record, PR firms are playing it cool. None of the firms contacted for this story would name their clients.

Christian Murck’s firm, APCO, manages an Olympic sponsor:

Christian Murck: This issue has been discussed in the public forum for a long time. You know, this is not a particularly new issue.

China’s official press which hardly lets a day go by without some mention of the Olympics was silent today. If you wanted to read about Spielberg’s action in China, you had to pick up a paper in Hong Kong — where the media isn’t controlled by the state.

In Shanghai, I’m Bill Marcus for Marketplace.

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