Hollywood divided over Cotillard's 9/11 comments
Hollywood insiders are scratching their heads over comments by French Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, questioning the events of September 11.
Hollywood insiders are scratching their heads over comments by French Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, with some asking whether her questioning of the events of September 11 will damage her international career.
"I think we're lied to about a lot of things," Cotillard said during a
television program first broadcast last year which has resurfaced on the
The actress who picked up the award for playing Edith Piaf in the French
film "La Vie En Rose" cited the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 as
one example, adding: "I tend to believe in the conspiracy theory."
In the video, the 32-year-old Parisian talks about watching films on the
internet challenging the official version of the September 11 attacks, saying "its fascinating, even addictive."
She continues: "Did man really walk on the moon? Me, I've seen a fair few documentaries on the subject. That, really, I question. In any case I don't believe everything people tell me, that's for sure."
Cotillard's lawyer Vincent Toledano told AFP she had "never intended to
contest nor question the attacks of September 11, 2001, and regrets the way
old remarks have been taken out of context."
The comments reverberated in Hollywood.
"Only a week after picking up her best actress Oscar, Marion Cotillard's
unconventional views on the September 11 terrorist attacks have come to
light," the Hollywood journal Variety wrote.
"It remains to be seem what effect the revelation of her beliefs will have
on her future in US films," it said.
In its entertainment supplement The Envelope, the Los Angeles Times wrote:
"Normally, it takes Oscar winners at least a few months or years to land in
trouble, but Marion Cotillard could set a new record thanks to some bizarre
comments she made last year that are now triggering a hubbub just days after
her best-actress victory."
Prior to snatching the coveted gold statuette, the French beauty signed on
to two other Hollywood films: police flick "Public Enemies" and a film version
of the musical "Nine".
A spokesman for Universal Studios, distributor of "Public Enemies," did not
immediately return AFP's calling seeking a reaction, while Cotillard's
spokesman in Hollywood referred to Toledano's statement.
For "The Envelope" critic Tom O'Neil, the comments are not harmless.
Had they come to light earlier, "she probably would have lost the Oscar,"
"This crosses the line. You can say crazy things, they all do in Hollywood all the time, but she's a foreigner who is perceived to be saying things anti-American."
Other commentators were less harsh.
"This is an old conspiracy, it's been rehearsed by other people and other actresses," said Robert Thompson, a professor of television at Syracuse
University in New York.
"It will play for a while, some people will be infuriated, and it may just end," he said.
"I don't think by any means that this makes her persona non grata in
Hollywood. A lot of people in Hollywood agree with her. She's becoming one of
us! She not only win the awards, but behaves in odd and unpredictable ways!"
"Everybody in America has a conspiracy theory," echoed Joel Stratte
McClure, gossip columnist for the "Los Angeles Daily News," adding: "nobody is
castigated or shunned" because of it.
"There's so much doubt with George Bush's policy today, that you could say
that he planned it and people wouldn't get upset," he said of the 9/11 attacks.
"By voicing her opinions, she hasn't hurt herself at all," said Elizabeth
Snead, another commentator for "The Envelope."
"I don't think it will hurt her career," Snead said, noting that Director
Oliver Stone built a career out of films exploring conspiracies surrounding
former presidents Richard Nixon and John F Kennedy.