The production company adapting Monica Ali’s book Brick Lane for film has decided to avoid filming scenes on location due to threats of violence and blockades.
Yesterday around a hundred protestors peacefully marched through the street to register their anger at the film. They held placards with slogans such as “Monica’s book is full of lies”. When a young Asian man, who declined to give his name, asked the protestors if they had actually read the book, they grew angry and a scuffle was averted by one of the organisers.
The protest was much smaller and different to promises made by Mr Abdus Salique last week. He told the Guardian newspaper last week: “[If] she has the right to freedom of speech, we have the right to burn books. We will do it to show our anger. We don’t like Monica Ali.” [Asians in Media]
What’s also interesting is that a verbal scuffle has broken out between Salman Rushdie and Germaine Greer.
I didn’t like Greer’s article at all. Firstly, who is she to assume that Monica Ali wrote the book because she hates Sylhetis? Are Asian people not allowed to write about non-Asians now? If I write a book about a white character who does something wrong, will I have Germaine Greer telling me it’s just because I hate whites? The second point is about authenticity. I quote Gautam Malkani:
On one level a novelist should not have to represent anything other than the characters in the novel. It seems to me that if you’re an ethnic novelist from a small community, there would be extra criteria on you to be authentic and representative in a way that other white novelists don’t have. It’s just stupid.
Now please shut up Ms Greer.
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