The ridiculous media narrative continues, in spite of the mounting evidence that has proven otherwise. A movie clip posted on YouTube months ago is still being blamed for the unspeakable acts of violence that occurred over two weeks ago. The media has effectively demonized an amateur filmmaker for allegedly inciting more rage and violence in the Middle East. It's almost as if they are equating hate speech with murder, and absolving the angry mobs for what they did. They just couldn't help themselves.
One of the actresses from The Innocence of Muslims was invited on The View on Wednesday morning to share her side of the story. What ensued was a peculiar interview that dragged on for over 7 minutes. While the rest of the cast was said to be in hiding, Cindy Lee Garcia 'bravely' made an appearance on national television to set the record straight. (see video below, MP3 audio available here)
The aspiring actress and self-proclaimed minister did not appear to be all there, however. 20/20 co-anchor Chris Cuomo filled in as a guest host, and asked the bulk of the questions. Sherri Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg, and Joy Behar all got their chances to weigh in. Cuomo started by portraying Garcia as an innocent and oblivious victim of a manipulative mastermind who intended for all of this to happen. She certainly had been duped into thinking it was a real movie. After completion of the project, she couldn't seem to find her listing on the Internet Movie Database. That was her first clue.
Treating her like she was some kind of expert, Goldberg asked if there was some way we could teach the Muslim community about movie-making. As if to say these protesting adults don't understand how dubbed over speech works.
And you've done interviews that have been shown in the Middle East, so people know that this was not the film you thought you were making. Because if you watch it, it's clear it has been dubbed over. You can see that what is being said is not what is being said by the actors. But have you contacted any of the Imams here to sit down with them and showed them how it was dubbed over, so that they can then spread the word? Because I think most people don't know much about movie-making, they don't know how that works. So would that be helpful, contacting the Muslim community?
Garcia said her interviews overseas have been overwhelmingly positive, no one seems to think she did anything wrong. And yet, Shepherd brought up all the death threats she was supposedly getting -- wondering why she wasn't in hiding too.
All of them took turns blaming the California-based filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula for the deaths of almost 50 people half-way around the world. With absolutely no mention of the protesters, or terrorists for that matter. They were adamant that that the filmmaker must be held accountable for "creating things that created violence," as Cuomo put it.
They then turned their attention to Garcia's lawyer Chris Armenta, who has filed suit against Google for not removing the clip from YouTube and claims Garcia's First Amendment rights are being infringed upon. Even though she didn't actually say anything in the dubbed video. Cuomo, a journalist, had no defense of the First Amendment. He was in favor of suspending the "traditional notions" of free speech instead.
Sept. 26, 2012
11:42 AM EDT
CHRIS CUOMO: Many in this country and around the world are reeling from the death of the U.S. Ambassador in Libya, J. Christopher Stevens. You remember the story about the attacks there. He wound up dead. At least 40 others have died in massive protests allegedly inspired by an anti-Muslim film called "Innocence of Muslims." It is a film that Muslims believe was directed at them. It's intentional hate speech. We've later learned that the person who did this film did it somewhat of a sham, especially to the actors in the film. They didn't know what was going on. There are now death threats, many are in hiding. But Cindy Lee Garcia, who was in the film has come out to speak about what really happened and what is known and it's very important. We're happy to have you here, thank you for joining us.
CINDY LEE GARCIA: Happy to be here today.
[ Applause ]
CUOMO: So let's deal with what must be said. Tell us what did you think this film was? Did you know that it was going to be anti-Muslim?
GARCIA: Not at all. When I received a casting call about the audition for the film, the film was called Desert Warriors. And it was based on an adventure film 2,000 years ago in the desert. And while we were on set filming, there was sword fighting. I had my script for my role. That was the only script that I had. Never once was mentioned Muhammad or Muslim. We weren't given any inkling that there was any of that going on. Sam Bacile, as I knew him, the producer, the writer, he let us know that he was so happy that he wrote this film, and he was constantly asking us, how do you like it? And it was fun. There was so much that I was left in the dark to, you know, until I finally did see the clip which was a year later. Because I kept trying to look for my IMDB credit under Desert Warriors, and I couldn't find it anywhere.
CUOMO: Interesting to note, you were new to acting. This was a $500 part.
CUOMO: You had a relatively small role.
GARCIA: Trying to build up a resume. I love acting. I love Hollywood. I'm also a minister. I've been watching good films for a long time. You know, and have a talent for acting, for action, and drama.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Just like Chris was saying, this film has caused massive unrest. There have been deaths, protests and a lot of the actors in the film have been getting death threats, including you. You've had to go into hiding, they've gone into hiding.
GARCIA: No, I haven't went into hiding.
CUOMO: She's right here.
[ Laughter ]
SHEPHERD: The other actors have gone into hiding, but you are speaking out publicly. Is there a reason why you're coming out publicly and speaking?
GARCIA: I'm coming out publicly because I don't want the Muslim world to think that America is behind this. I don't want them to think that I am behind this. I'm a pastor of a church. I have been a pastor for over 15 years and my congregation knows me, that I love Christ, that I've never taught them to hate other religions or other people's beliefs.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: And you've done interviews that have been shown in the Middle East, so people know that this was not the film you thought you were making. Because if you watch it, it's clear it has been dubbed over. You can see that what is being said is not what is being said by the actors. But have you contacted any of the Imams here to sit down with them and showed them how it was dubbed over, so that they can then spread the word? Because I think most people don't know much about movie-making, they don't know how that works. So would that be helpful, contacting the Muslim community?
GARCIA: I have spoken with the Middle East at least four times and I have got a good response from so many Muslims. They said, we believe you, we could tell you were speaking from your heart, your words were truthful and honest. It was beautiful to me to get that response. So many of them responded to me.
CUOMO: It's also not really your responsibility, if you think about it. I mean you were a victim in the situation. Bacile, fake name, whose real name is Nakoula Nakoula. He's in hiding. He needs to come up, because he was too much of a coward to be open about what he was trying to do. He created things that created violence.
GOLDBERG: Then he wouldn't have been able to get actors.
CUOMO: That's right, and ignorance. He needs to be held to account for this.
JOY BEHAR: And yet, And yet, Cindy right? You say that you forgive him?
GARCIA: Of course I forgive him.
BEHAR: Because you're a good Christian woman?
GARCIA: Because God wants me to forgive him. He will answer to God one day hisself. I spoke with Sam Bacile the day everything broke loose in Libya. I have him logged into my cellphone, and um...
CUOMO: What did he say?
GARCIA: After I saw everything on the news, I called him and said, 'why did you do this to us?' He said -- I said because all of the broadcast reports are coming at me. He said tell the world you're innocent, tell them you're innocent, that he did this. That he was tired of all the radical Muslims killing innocent people, and that he was from Israel.
BEHAR: But he wasn't even from Israel, was he?
GARCIA: I don't believe anything he says.
GOLDBERG: The question becomes then, if you feel like that, then you stand up and take the heat. Because what you basically did was, you made a movie that cost other people their lives.
BEHAR: Forty-seven people at least have been killed in the riots. Maybe more. He's responsible for part of that.
GARCIA: Yes he is, I would like to say something about our ambassador. You know, he loved the Libyan people.
CUOMO: Yes he did.
ARCIA: When I saw his face, he was in his element. He was happy. He was doing something he loved. He was committed, and my heart goes out to his family.
SHEPHERD: Now Cindy, we have in our audience, your attorney, Cris Armenta. And Chris, you and Cindy are suing the filmmaker for fraud and slander and you're suing YouTube to force them to take the film completely off the web. Now how come you think this film has got to come down?
CHRIS ARMENTA: Well it's been asked whether it's a first amendment right. I think what people forget is there's a first amendment right to say what you think. But there's also a first amendment right to not be forced to say that which you don't think. That's exactly what happened here. Somebody put words in Cindy Lee Garcia's mouth to make her look like a religious bigot, and she isn't. So what we're doing is providing YouTube and Google a non-controversial political vehicle and the easiest legal vehicle to get the content off the web. And we really believe that we're going to succeed in that.
CUOMO: Hopefully it doesn't get caught up in the traditional notions of the first amendment, allowing everything to be out there as an idea. Because she was made to say things that were not her words.
GARCIA: I wasn't made to say them, they dubbed over.
CUOMO: That's an important distinction. Thank you for telling us the truth today. Good luck to you going forward. I'm sorry that we met you in this position, but thank you for coming out here. Everybody, our thanks to Cindy Lee Garcia. We'll be right back.
11:49 AM EDT