June 25, 2006

Preliminary Pirates protests

Pirates Picks Up Some Protestors[T]he blockbuster sequel already faced some protests last year while shooting on the island of Dominica. The Carib tribe that is indigenous to the island had a big problem with being portrayed as cannibals, particularly in a scene that has Johnny Depp strapped to a skewer. The tribe's chief Charles Williams was especially outraged that many of his people sold out their heritage for $95 per day as extras.

Now comes the real picketing-style protesting. The Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United of Long Beach, California is staging a protest at Disneyland on Saturday afternoon in response to their own problems with their ancestors being depicted as cannibals. The non-profit organization is devoted to the preservation of the Garifuna culture and history, so their interest in the matter is obvious. I wonder, though, if anywhere in the film is it said the cannibals are on Dominica. Not that it would really matter since there is no proof that cannibalism ever existed in the Caribbean, and the movie's encouragement of the stereotype probably suggests that all native Caribbeans as well as the African-originated Garifuna share a cannibalistic past.

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