ONTD Political

Story of "Muhammed" Movie Gets Even Weirder

8:14 am - 09/13/2012
‘It Makes Me Sick’: Actress in Muhammed Movie Says She Was Deceived, Had No Idea It Was About Islam

The story of the Muhammed movie which sparked deadly protests in Libya and Egypt gets weirder. The actors who appeared in it had no idea they were starring in anti-Islam propaganda which depicts Muhammed as a child molester and thug. They were deceived by the film's director, believing they were appearing in a film about the life of a generic Egyptian 2,000 years ago.

Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress from Bakersfield, Calif., has a small role in the Muhammed movie as a woman whose young daughter is given to Muhammed to marry. But in a phone interview this afternoon, Garcia told us she had no idea she was participating in an offensive spoof on the life of Muhammed when she answered a casting call through an agency last summer and got the part.

The script she was given was titled simply Desert Warriors.

"It was going to be a film based on how things were 2,000 years ago," Garcia said. "It wasn't based on anything to do with religion, it was just on how things were run in Egypt. There wasn't anything about Muhammed or Muslims or anything."

In the script and during the shooting, nothing indicated the controversial nature of the final product, now called Muslim Innocence. Muhammed wasn't even called Muhammed; he was "Master George," Garcia said. The word "Muhammed" was dubbed over in post-production, as were essentially all other offensive references to Islam and Muhammed.

For example, at 9:03 in the trailer, Garcia berates her husband, who wants to send their daughter to Muhammed: "Is your Muhammed a child molester?" she says in the final product. But the words are dubbed over what she actually said. The line in the script—and the line Garcia gave during filming—was, "is your God a child molester," Garcia told us today.

Garcia was horrified when she saw the end product, and when protesters in Libya killed four U.S. Embassy employees.

"I had nothing to do really with anything," she said today. "Now we have people dead because of a movie I was in. It makes me sick."

According to Garica, her three days on set last July were unremarkable. The film's mysterious pseudonymous writer and director, "Sam Bacile," has claimed to be an Israeli real estate mogul. But Garcia said Bacile told her he was Egyptian on set. Bacile had white hair and spoke Arabic to a number of "dark-skinned" men who hung around the set, she said. (A Bacile associate also told The Atlantic he wasn't Israeli or Jewish.)

"He was just really mellow. He was just sitting there and he wanted certain points to be made."

Once, Garcia said, Bacile wanted a girl that "Master George" (aka Muhammed) was to sleep with to look seven years old, instead of 10, to heighten the outrage. But his Assistant Directors protested, saying that was too young.

After the protests erupted and Bacile appeared in the media, Garcia called him up today to express her outrage at his deception.

"I called Sam and said, 'Why did you do this?' and he said, 'I'm tired of radical Islamists killing each other. Let other actors know it's not their fault.'"

Garcia isn't satisfied simply knowing it wasn't her fault.

"I'm going to sue his butt off."

Update: The entire 80-member cast and crew of the film have released a statement saying they were misled. Via CNN:

The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer. We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.

Update II: Here's what appears to be the original casting call, posted in July 2011on craigslist:

NOW CASTING SAG and NON SAG ACTORS for "DESERT WARRIOR." Director Alan Roberts.
Historical desert drama set in Middle East. Indie Feature film shoots 18 days in L.A. in August. Studio and backlot locations.

Male Roles: DR. MATTHEW (Lead): Middle Eastern Pharmacist, 40-50, intelligent, family man; GEORGE (Lead); 40-50, Middle Eastern warrior leader, romantic, charismatic; YOUNG GEORGE (featured) 18-22; PRIEST (featured): 60-70, bearded; ABDO (featured), 60-70, Elder tribe leader; ISRAELI MEN 30-50 (featured); WARRIORS (featured) 18-50, Various Middle Eastern types, bearded.

Female Roles: CONDALISA (featured) 40, attractive, successful, strong willed; HILLARY (featured) 18 but must look younger, petite; innocent; YOUSTINA (featured) 16-18, Daughter of doctor; MIDDLE EASTERN WOMEN (Various Featured Roles) 18-40, attractive, exotic; OLDER WOMAN (featured) 60-70, feisty.

Please place Role desired in SUBJECT: line of email.

Indicate SAG or NON-SAG

Require phone contact for immediate interview in Beverly/LaCienega area.

Source

OP: O.O

.......

Okay, seriously.... this is why I do not need Absolute Power, because as of RIGHT NOW, that guy would be standing in mid-town Benghazi, John McClane-style with a sign on his chest reading, "I'M THE GUY WHO MADE THE MUHHAMMED MOVIE!"
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hammersxstrings 13th-Sep-2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!


The violence that is taking place right now is reprehensible and inexcusable, but FUCK EVERYONE who is pointing and saying, see? See, those Muslims, they're savage and violent. Do people think their actions exist in a vacuum? Did they not think this continued attack of their religion and culture could lead to something like this?


Could you imagine if a middle eastern filmmaker made a movie about Jesus that was incredibly offensive/blasphemous? It just makes me so mad, that they do not even CONSIDER...

I know, I don't know why I let myself get mad because it's not new, nor surprising. But this is only going to increase islamophobia in this country and I just...ugh, I hate people sometimes....
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
mahasin 13th-Sep-2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
My favorite are the people who are all like "Freedom of Speech - they shouldn't be bombing or rioting" and I'm just like "You clearly have no idea what freedom of speech means outside of the U.S.".
mhael Pretty much...13th-Sep-2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
It reminds me of what Jon Stewart said on their first show after 9/11, where he talked about the luxury of having the kind of freedom of speech we have in this country.
flying_pandas 13th-Sep-2012 03:14 pm (UTC)
I thought they've all concluded the attack has nothing to do with this film?
texasskier 13th-Sep-2012 03:42 pm (UTC)
Do you think if somebody who kills Americans in ME has seen this movie? I am sure not... They are bunch of pricks.
And US government's response is very weak. Where is great America?
mhael Umm.....13th-Sep-2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
deathbytamarind 13th-Sep-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
Nobody seems to know who this guy is or where he comes from. That's really unsettling to me.
deborahw37 13th-Sep-2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I despair at the mindset of people who seem to deliberately seek to promote chaos

Edited at 2012-09-13 05:20 pm (UTC)
romp 13th-Sep-2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
That poor woman. At least the cast and crew made a united statement.
yamamanama 13th-Sep-2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
This guy is the Tommy Wiseau of racist propaganda.
celtic_thistle 13th-Sep-2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
Oh. My. God.

That is exactly what I was thinking.
mollywobbles867 13th-Sep-2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
This post is on the front page, so that explains texasskier.
teacup_werewolf 13th-Sep-2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
That was my thought too.
corinn 13th-Sep-2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Ugh. This whole thing. Words fail me. Just... ugh. I mean what if some of the cast and crew are Muslim and were deceived into working on this project?

Do the cast and crew have grounds to sue? It seems it would be a snarly mess involving contracts and deception. If he used SAG actors, could SAG go after him on some grounds? /clueless

Why did a script for a story in Egypt circa 2000 years ago have a character named Master Geor-- WAIT WAIT WAIT LOOK AT THE CASTING CALL ROLE NAMES. I'm guessing the writer took them from political figures for his post production find-and-replace purposes. George, Condalisa, Hillary. Bush, (Condaleeza) Rice, Clinton? Wonder who the others refer to? Wonder why he chose those names?

"Various Middle Eastern types" and "exotic." Ugh.
nycscribbler 16th-Sep-2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
I noticed that too. Especially since there's George and Young George...
girly123 13th-Sep-2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
This post is such a goddamn clusterfuck.
ebay313 14th-Sep-2012 12:08 am (UTC)
I feel bad for the actors who didn't know what they were a part of. Though that initial call sounds ridiculously racist still.

Also: "Bacile had white hair and spoke Arabic to a number of "dark-skinned" men who hung around the set, she said"

Does she know Arabic? Because in my experience, most Americans don't know enough to differentiate Arabic and Hebrew (and certainly not Arabic and a variety of other languages). I took Hebrew in college and I had a lot of friends and family ask if writing they saw here and there was Hebrew or Arabic and, at least IMO, writing is much more clearly different than speaking between the two. So if she doesn't know the language, I wouldn't be incredibly confident in her ability to correctly identify if what he was speaking was indeed Arabic.
mimblexwimble 14th-Sep-2012 02:49 am (UTC)
This situation is monumentally fucked up. But I can't help thinking that the people who burned down the embassy and murdered the ambassador were just looking for an excuse to use violence. They're on a hair-trigger - it doesn't matter what so-and-so did or said or made... eventually, they would have found their reason and done it anyway. It's just disgusting that violence has become the first choice.
astridmyrna 14th-Sep-2012 03:53 am (UTC)
Now, now. Let's put aside these harsh feelings and join in song as we sing the national anthem.



Edited at 2012-09-14 03:54 am (UTC)
meran_flash 14th-Sep-2012 05:47 am (UTC)
I pretty much only understand this incident through reporting by Rachel Maddow, and her show has been suggesting from the beginning that the attack on the embassy was not in response to the video, it just coincided with the protests that were. Nobody else in this post seems to be coming from this perspective. Is this totally off-base?
evilgmbethy 14th-Sep-2012 07:19 am (UTC)
I've heard this but I don't think anyone knows for sure yet?
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