Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Hollywood, China and Abortion

Dec 17, 2011

It is very easy to poke fun at the Hollyweird crowd – after all there are so many of them doing so many stupid PC things. It is rare for a denizen of Hollywood to actually come out and do something sensible and even commendable. Well, one finally has, and he is worth writing about and supporting.

Christian Bale, of Batman fame, had taken a bold step to support a persecuted pro-lifer in China. And for doing that, he has been given some rough treatment. Being the Hollywood celeb that he is, there has been plenty of media coverage about all this.

One media report covers the story this way: “Hollywood actor Christian Bale was manhandled and roughed up by Chinese security guards as he tried to visit a blind legal activist whose detention has sparked international outcry. Bale, joined by a camera crew from CNN, was confronted by four men dressed in plain clothes as he tried to visit Chen Guangcheng who has been under house arrest in the Dongshigu village for 15 months.

“The Oscar-winning actor, who plays superhero Batman, can be seen being pushed and shoved by the guards before being frogmarched away in the video released by CNN. ‘Why can I not visit this free man?’ Bale can be heard repeatedly asking the security officers, while they were pushing him. In response the guards are reported to have shouted ‘Go away!’ while physically shoving Bale and the crew on Thursday.

“According to the report, Bale was also punched by the guards who were aiming for his small camera in an attempt to stop him recording. Once Bale and the crew left the area, they were pursued by a grey minivan for over half-an-hour. ‘What I really wanted to do is to shake the man’s hand and say: “Thank you,” and tell him what an inspiration he is,’ a clearly disappointed Bale told CNN after the incident. ‘You know, I’m not being brave doing this,’ he added.”

Chen certainly is an inspiration. He has courageously stood up for the victims of forced abortion in China, and has been imprisoned, tortured, and denied medical treatment. Because of his campaign to expose the horror of forced abortions in China, he has been heavily persecuted by the Chinese government. His health is in real jeopardy because of the numerous beatings and malnutrition he has suffered.

A CNN report says this: “His supporters maintain authorities used trumped-up charges to silence Chen, a blind, self-taught lawyer who rose to fame in the late 1990s thanks to his legal advocacy for what he called victims of abusive practices by China’s family-planning officials.

“Bale first learned about Chen through news reports, including our coverage in February, when he was in China filming ‘The Flowers of War,’ a wartime drama set in 1930s Nanjing in which he plays a mortician trying to save a group of schoolgirls from the clutches of invading Japanese soldiers.

“The injustice faced by the activist and his family stirred such strong emotions in Bale that, upon hearing his impending return to China to promote the movie, he decided to do something unusual to raise the international awareness of Chen and thereby to turn up the heat on the Chinese government.

“‘This doesn’t come naturally to me, this is not what I actually enjoy – it isn’t about me,’ he explained during our eight-hour drive from Beijing to the eastern city of Linyi, where Chen’s village is located. ‘But this was just a situation that said I can’t look the other way.’ Known to be a media-shy celebrity, Bale reached out to CNN and invited us to join him on his journey to visit Chen. In the car, he lamented the American public’s lack of knowledge on Chen’s case.”

Well done Christian Bale. Finally a big time celeb who is willing to stand up for what is right, instead of just amassing millions, or pushing the latest whacko lefty agenda item. We sure can use more Hollywood actors who use their fame and fortune to help in genuine worthy causes.

As Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers said, “Christian Bale is a hero. He is starring in the most expensive film ever made in China, which China hopes will win an Academy Award. Nevertheless, he has the courage to stand against official injustice and has greatly raised the visibility of Chen’s case.

“Christian Bale has used his star power to shine a light on the unjust treatment of Chen Guangcheng. In contrast, Relativity Media filmed ‘21 and Over’ in Linyi, where Chen is languishing under house arrest. They did nothing to help Chen. I hope that moviegoers will demonstrate their concern for Chen Guangcheng at the box office. We encourage people to see ‘The Flowers of War’ and boycott ‘21 and Over.’”

So we need to take our hats off to Christian Bale. If we could find many more brave souls who are willing to stand up for what is right, and not just what is trendy, we might even have some hope yet for the world of Hollywood and entertainment.

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