A reliable source inside China has informed Women’s Rights Without Frontiers that film mogul Relativity Media is shooting “21 and Over” in Linyi, China — the very city where blind activist Chen Guangcheng is languishing near death for exposing the fact that Linyi had 130,000 forced abortions and sterilizations in 2005. Film production commenced October 26.
According to Relativity Media’s press release, 21 and Over is a “hilarious comedy . . . about two childhood friends who drag their straight-arrow buddy out to celebrate his twenty-first birthday the night before an all-important medical school interview. But when one beer leads to another, the evening spirals into a wild epic misadventure of debauchery and mayhem that none of them will ever forget.”
Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “Out of the thousands of locations in China, why was Linyi targeted? Is this a deliberate slap in the face to Chen Guangcheng and human rights in China? In my opinion, it is unconscioable for Relativity Media to make this film in Linyi. While Relativity Media is creating a “wild epic misadventure,” about beer-drinking and debauchery, Chen Guangcheng is suffering unspeakable torment – beaten, tortured, denied medical treatment and being slowly starved to death – right under their noses.”
Littlejohn issued a call to action. “Relativity Media has a choice. If they have any commitment to corporate responsibility or social justice, they will immediately cease production in Linyi because of Chen Guangcheng. If they ignore this plea, then I call on the people of China and the world to boycott 21 and Over and deliver a crushing commercial defeat. Let’s send a message that filmgoers of conscience will not support a movie that is made in flagrant disregard of one of the world’s greatest human rights heroes.”
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers and China Aid are spearheading an international campaign to free Chen. Watch a three-minute video about Chen here:
Sign a petition to free Chen here:
Relativity Media’s Sky Land partnership backing this film includes SAIF Partners and IDG China Media, part of International Data Group of Boston, in alliance with Huaxia Film Distribution Company, an official agency of the Chinese Communist Party. The producers are Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, in association with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore wrote the script. Click here for Relativity’s press release:
See Tom Lasseter’s blog on McClatchy Newspapers, discussing this situation: