Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sweden: State broadcaster wanted antisemitism documentary to be more anti-Israel

Just this week Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said that he wants to take a lead in combating anti-Semitism worldwide.  I suggest he start with his national broadcaster.
 Via RT:
Sweden's state broadcaster scrapped plans to air a documentary about anti-Semitism and jihad, fearing it could offend the nation's growing Muslim population, Danish media reports. The station says it won't be aired because it failed to document reality.
The film, titled 'Watching the Moon at Night', reportedly takes a detailed look at anti-Semitism and terrorism, alleging a link between the two. It goes on to mention crimes against Jews at the hands of Islamic terrorists.

But although the documentary was largely funded by state broadcaster SVT, the channel is now refusing to air it, declining to purchase the rights to show the film in Sweden.
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According to Danish newspaper Berlingske, the decision is over fears of a backlash from Sweden's growing Muslim community.

It's not the first instance of SVT employees pushing back against the documentary, according to Marianne Ahrne, a former film consultant at the Swedish Film Institute who initially approved public funding for the documentary.

Ahrne said that after the funding was approved, the documentary was made subject to a list of conditions, and that SVT submitted “one formal obstacle after another.”
That statement was echoed by director Bo Persson, who specifically accused SVT project manager Lars Säfström of rattling off demands in order for the film to secure funding.

According to Persson, Säfström wanted the film to be more anti-American and anti-Israel. He accused him of trying to “influence the film's content,” adding that such behavior was “totally unacceptable.”

However, the head of SVT's documentary department, Axel Arnö, said the decision was made because the film doesn't fit in with the channel's standards. He claimed it lacked serious journalism, as it was attempting to prove a point rather than document reality.

The move is a rare one for SVT, which almost always airs the projects it has funded. Two Swedish film festivals also chose to drop the documentary from their line-ups, though the documentary has been aired during limited releases in six other countries.
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