Change.org Petition Seeks to Extinguish “The Green Inferno”

Calls Eli Roth helmed cannibal survival horror “dehumanizing”.

Misguided calls for censorship prove panties are thoroughly bunched.

There was a time when Eli Roth’s cannibal survival horror movie seemed doomed to languish in distribution purgatory—and that suited the group Boycott Green Inferno just fine. Now that the film is just over two months away from its long-overdue theatrical release, this group is ramping up efforts to extinguish The Green Inferno with an online petition that seeks to cancel the film’s release all together.

Eli Roth

Eli Roth

History

The Green Inferno was slated for theatrical release in September 2014 through Open Road and their promotional arm Worldview Entertainment. Several weeks before this, Worldview fired their founder and CEO Chris Woodrow amidst claims of unrealistic financial commitments.

On June 1st, Variety reported:

“Blumhouse will release “Inferno” through its BH Tilt label in collaboration with Universal and Focus’ High Top Releasing on approximately 1,000 screens and promote the film by employing a digital campaign focused on creating awareness and engagement. Open Road is no longer involved.

The Green Inferno” is a “wild, fun ride that took us deeper into the Amazon than anyone has ever taken a film crew,” said Roth. “BH Tilt is a forward-thinking label that is helping to redefine how genre movies can be released. I want to express my deep gratitude to the fans for their incredible support of this movie and to everyone at Blumhouse and Universal for making sure fans can experience the film in theaters across the country.”

Eli Roth conceived of The Green Inferno as a tribute to Italian cannibalism films of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. While “The Green Inferno” is the name of the film-within-the-film in Cannibal Holocaust, Roth’s Inferno is an original stand-alone.

 

 

The Petition

The petition, directed at Roth personally, calls for the cancellation of the “dehumanizing film The Green Inferno” and reads in part:

Films like this have always portrayed negative stereotypes against indigenous people as brute savages. These films have psychological effect as indigenous people have been through colonial trauma assimilating to white culture being taught self hate. “Westerners are unfortunately ignorant about Amazonian indigenous cultures and depicting them in such a violent story dehumanizes their peoples and couldn’t be farther from reality. Shame on you. As a storyteller you hold a great responsibility to influence others. Propagating such hate towards peoples who have been ravaged and raped for decades by white supremacist culture is not constructive in our fight to save the Amazon. Most indigenous communities are more in tune with nature than you’ll ever be, and would never conceive of such violence for profit. It’s a shame, we should be creating stories than accurately depict indigenous way of life which is holistic, sustainable, spiritual and harmonious with our earth and brothers and sisters.

IMDB describes the plot of Green Inferno in the following words:  “A group of student activists travel from New York City to the Amazon to save a dying tribe. Unfortunately, they crash in the jungle and are taken hostage by the very natives they protected.”

As you can tell from the description and trailer, Eli Roth has decided to glorify the White Savior Industrial Complex that has plagued indigenous people since the early colonialist days of “kill the Indian, save the man”, while the indigenous people are, of course, cannibalistic savages.

You can read the petition in its entirety HERE. Heck, you can even sign it if you want to—although I doubt you’d been perusing a site like The Blood-Shed if this type of extreme entertainment offended you.

Screen-Shot-2014-05-30-at-5.06.22-PM-620x400

My 2 Cents

First of all, I don’t want to be insensitive to the plight of indigenous Amazonian Indians—or even to the petitioners. I do, however, believe that they’re, at best, misguided (and at worst, dictatorial thought police). It’s a complex issue that boils down to 2 key points: Freedom of speech, and freedom of artistic expression.

In this day and age, I don’t honestly believe that anyone goes to a horror movie expecting an accurate portrayal of life and/or society; people watch horror movies to escape reality—not to be bashed over the head by it! When creating a piece of entertainment, historical accuracy is not a pre-condition.

I understand, better than many, the desire to champion an underdog, but censorship is never the answer. I’ve personally never purchased a copy of Cannibal Holocaust, not because of its inaccurate portrayal of indigenous tribes, but because of its cruelty to animals. But even though I may hate certain aspects of Cannibal Holocaust, I’ll fight to the death for its right to exist.

All horror movies have a “bad guy”, a person or group that essentially becomes a symbol (or caricature) of deep-seeded human fears. Horror movie villains are rarely regarded as realistic or representative examples of a society or culture.

In The Green Inferno, Roth’s “bad guys” are a lost tribe of Peruvian Indians with a hankering for cannibalism. But Roth’s film is an homage to cannibal horror movies of the 1970’s and 1980’s, a throwback, and not a representation of current views towards undiscovered cultures. Truth is, 90% of the people who will flock to see The Green Inferno probably don’t know a thing about the actual plight of these peoples—and frankly, many don’t care. No one will be heading to the theater for education—only entertainment.

The petitioners chastise Roth for reinforcing negative stereotypes, not realizing that many horror movies are actually challenging these pre-conceived notions. Roth isn’t glorifying the college student’s misguided efforts to “save” Amazonian Indians, he’s criticizing the “let’s go fix it” mentality that launches people into causes they don’t fully understand. Since I haven’t seen the film yet, I can’t state for certain, but I believe that Roth intends to subvert the standard “white man to the rescue” narratives.

4-the-green-inferno

The Flip Side

To be fair, I’m including a video that discusses climate change and deforestation in Brazil, and its effects on indigenous populations. If you are so inclined, learn the truth about real horrors taking place below he equator. This is the type of nonfiction that accurately portrays the current plight of South American Indians.

The Green Inferno, on the other hand, is a piece of fiction, designed to entertain—not educate.

 

 

What do you think about the petition to cancel the release of The Green Inferno? Are you excited to see the film when it’s released on September 25th? Sound off in the Comments section!

Follow me on Twitter @josh_millican

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19 Comments on this post.

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  • Allen
    16 July 2015 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    This is honestly so stupid. It’s a harmless horror film that I personally can’t wait to see, leave it alone.

    • Josh Millican
      16 July 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      Amen!

  • Peter Grantham
    16 July 2015 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    These people obviously have a problem with the film, which is fine. They don’t have to see it, though. Instead, they can donate the price of a movie ticket to an appropriate charity. 20 x 1000 = 20,000 .

  • Ben
    17 July 2015 at 8:54 am - Reply

    I saw this film last year and it was great fun. Fun, that is, not educational. Actually the bad guys were fairly evenly distributed between evil corporate suits, evil traitorous sexually predatious ‘students’ and evil local cannibals.

    I’ve seen better films but I’ve also seen far worse and I suspect the petition is written by people who’ve never seen it or understood it.

  • Chris
    17 July 2015 at 9:00 am - Reply
    • damien
      31 July 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

      Signed great idea dude.

  • Charles Volcher
    17 July 2015 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Screen the film let the public make up its own mind

  • Admiral Williams
    20 July 2015 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    You do realize that this isn’t real, right? And that it was all set up by Roth’s marketing department, right? Take a look at the account. And Amazon Watch never even made that statement.

    • Josh Millican
      20 July 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      A lot of folks share your opinion, but I don’t see a smoking gun that confirms its a PR stunt.

      • FDBK
        25 July 2015 at 2:56 am - Reply

        Here’s the smoking gun. This was added to the petition page today:

        “To clear up confusion, this quotation and petition is not an -official- statement by Amazon Watch. This petition is created by individual activists to bring the social awareness of this film”

        It’s looking like a complete crock. And as it’s such a politically charged issue, if it’s a hoax, it’s more than a harmless publicity stunt. It’s brought a lot of hate against ‘social justice movements’ and environmental advocacy groups like Amazon Watch.

        I’m expecting a call back from AMAZON WATCH soon. I will update when I hear back but if they have no knowledge of the initial petition, then I hope you’ll write a follow-up post to inform your readers of the situation.

        Stay tuned!
        FDBK
        cinephobia.xxx

        • Josh Millican
          25 July 2015 at 4:31 am - Reply

          I will, please keep me informed. For the record, I credited the petition to Boycott Green Inferno, who is shown at the top to be the initiators. Still, if they are misusing Amazon Watch’s name/identity in their statement, I will definite put the word out.

        • damien
          31 July 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

          Well SJWs are getting out of hand honestly. I’m all for minority rights, women rights, etc, but between them getting GTA V pulled from Targets in Australia and now a petition to remove a shirt from Target in US because it has Trophy written on it, then there was Shirtgate enough is enough of these jackasses, but I definitely think it’s from a real SJW they’re definitely the type to try and push for this.

        • Josh Millican
          31 July 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

          Did you ever hear back from Amazon Watch?

          • FEEDBACK
            8 August 2015 at 6:54 pm -

            Yes, I did. As I discuss on the show, the petition was not put together by Amazon Watch. Whoever posted that petition took it from the following INSTAGRAM discussion:

            http://www.online-instagram.com/media/1018448436517892447_1467288291

            Eli makes a lot of interesting promises in those threads. It remains to be seen if he’s prepared to make good on any of them.

        • Josh Millican
          8 August 2015 at 9:27 pm - Reply

          Well done! I listened to every second. Would have loved a shout-out as the one who didn’t attribute the petition to Amazon Watch, but the source of the petition, Boycott Green Inferno. That wasn’t by accident. Also, I did follow up with you even before you got back to me as proof of my commitment to the truth, and genuine interest in the outcome of this story. I wish I had the time to get to the bottom of things like you did, so I appreciate your efforts. One day, horror journalism will be my paying gig, and I’ll make an effort to follow the example you set. As co-owner of The Blood-Shed, I take pride in going beyond both and paste news-regurgitation and unnecessary sensationalism, as illustrated in the op-ed portion of my article. It’s important that readers know they can trust us. But whatever! As promised, I’ll take my lumps. Look for an update Monday. Good job!

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