Sunday, September 23, 2007

NPR, AP name at-risk 12 year old

Recently, I've both heard a story on NPR and read one from the Associated Press about the upcoming movie The Kite Runner. In the movie, based on the book of the same name, one of the key scenes is a young Afghan boy being raped by a bully. Both the NPR and AP stories talked about how the 12 year old actor and his family, who live in Kabul, are afraid of potential recriminations.

Rape victims are shunned in Afghan society. "The people of Afghanistan do not understand that it's only acting or playing a role in a film. They think it has actually happened," explained the father to the AP. The boy expressed fear that schoolmates would taunt him.

Both NPR and the AP quoted experts stating that the boy and his family's concern for their safety as a result of the film scene were genuine.

Yet despite this, both NPR and the AP included the name of the boy and his father in their pieces.

Let's hope the film makers are less irresponsible than these news organizations and omit the actor's name for the credits or use a pseudonym.

Update: Since I didn't link to either piece (for obvious reasons), there is some key info missing. Excerpts from the AP piece...

The boy's father said, "When we argued, they said 'We will cut this part of the film. We will take it out of the script. This part will not be in the film.'"


But the boy with an endearing, crooked smile said he would never have taken the role had he known (the boy) is raped. The family said they found out about the scene only days before it was shot.


"They didn't give me the script. They didn't give me the story of 'The Kite Runner.' If I knew about the story, I wouldn't have participated as an actor in this film," (the boy) told the AP

1 comment:

Mark said...

What the hell... I hope NPR and the AP at least make some sort of financial contribution to the family for the damage they may have caused.