by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Film/TV.

Amidst protests from right-wing groups, the first cinema in Japan to show the dolphin-slaughter documentary The Cove has pulled the film.

According to Variety, “theater management got cold feet on Thursday after receiving harassing phone calls and warnings that protesters would picket the theater.”

In response, Director Louis Psihoyos has created a video denouncing the move and calling for all Japanese to consider viewing the film. Check it out below:

via Causecast

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Whoever…

    Freedom of speech, democracy, anyone…?
    Obviously Japan knows nothing about that and it’s clear that those things are nothing but nice ideals which aren’t real in this planet.

    Keep up with diplomatic tactics and nice words and crap like that …
    These people only understand one language – violence!

    The day we have one global ALF, then these assholes will start listening!

  • Mick

    “Japanese censorship of film”????

    What censorship? According to the article, a group exercised their right of free speech and protested against the film and the theater chose not to show the film. Much like when many people protested against the film “The Last Temptation of Christ” in the U.S. years ago. Nothing unusual and most certainly not censorship.

    • David

      Mick you have to remember that some environmentalists have the super-power of redefining words to mean what they want and not what they really mean.

      They can call for a boycott of Japan to get what they want, but when others basically call for a boycott of a theater to get what they want, it becomes undemocratic, an attack on free speech and censorship.

      • Mick

        It would appear so. The VARIETY article says nothing about censorship.

  • Cho cho ma

    It makes sense with those crazy Japanese right wing people making threats. Its still a business at the end of the day. I wish animal planet and discovery would show the film in Japan.

    • Mick

      Cho cho ma,

      “…crazy Japanese right wing people making threats.”

      According to the article, those “crazy” people are threatening to “picket the theater”. Various left and right wing groups picket all the time in the U.S. Nothing unusual or “crazy” about that.

      • Cho cho ma

        You obviously dont know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the kind of people who waited outside Bethunes trial with sign saying “S#%*retard” and who attacked people who came to support Bethune.

      • Mick

        Cho cho ma,

        “…who attacked people who came to support Bethune.”

        I would hardly classify that as an “attack”. I’ve seen far worse at various protests in America many times.
        The point is, they are simply protesting against something that they are opposed to and they are “threatening” to picket the theater. Picketing is a legal and acceptable way to exercise your right to free speech. It’s a common and accepted activity in democratic countries. It most certainly does not constitue censorship.

      • Erik

        don’t you just “luv” these people that decry peaceful protest and still accuse VIOLENT protest, while defending their own VIOLENT acts?
        According to idiots such as whoever and animucksitup , violence is the answer, but only if they are the ones performing it.

      • Whoever…

        Hey erik:

        Your stupidity knows no limits!
        So you think it’s okay to slaughter whales but if animal rights activists become more extreme then it’s not okay!!

        “violence is the answer, but only if they are the ones performing it.”
        So, you have the right to defend violence (what, killing whales is not violence to you?) but we don’t?

        It’s because of human scum like you that the planet is fucked up!
        It’s people like you that make me become more and more extreme to a point where human life is beginning to lose all its value to me…

        Oh, and by the way you’re a pathetic coward and a loser – you hide behind a stupid site where you insult Peter Watson! How courageous of you!!
        You must be another paid blogger – it’s about time your kind is exterminated!

      • Erik

        I see the coward maggot “whoever” speaks again…
        Why does it not surprise me to see this scum calling for the extermination of any and all that disagree with him?
        You actually validated my point about violence being ok as long as you are the one being violent.

        “Oh, and by the way you’re a pathetic coward and a loser – you hide behind a stupid site where you insult Peter Watson! How courageous of you!!
        You must be another paid blogger – it’s about time your kind is exterminated!”

        speaking of hiding and insulting…

        you’re more and more just another klebold… a sniveling whiner that has the world against him in your pea sized brain. I await to read of your lashing out by killing some poor person that crosses your path.

  • AnimuX

    The protesters are from the ultra-nationalist conservative Tokyo citizens’ group Shuken Kaifuku wo Mezasu Kai (The Society to Seek Restoration of Sovereignty).

    They’re also known for:

    * Openly denying Japan’s war crimes. They’ve stated anti-Japanese westerners made up lies about wartime comfort women (Korean civilians kidnapped and brutally forced to become sex slaves for the Japanese military) and claimed the women were actually paid prostitutes.

    * Openly supporting domestic violence against women. They’ve called laws protecting women unfair and a result of “radical feminism”.

    * Holding anti-foreigner protests with signs like “Japan is not a white country”.

    These are the people who support whaling.


      Wingnuts tend to clump together. Just look at the tea party.

      • Cho cho ma

        Ya agree with you on that one!

      • Mick

        “Wingnuts tend to clump together. Just look at the tea party.”

        Or sea Shepherd.

  • Mick

    An interesting choice of words.

    “..was censored from viewing by one theater in Tokyo…”

    “..because of the actions of a few people who have a lot to lose finacially if this movie is seen in Japan.”

    “Japanese consumers….have a right to know the truth.”

    The article states, “A Tokyo theater….has cancelled”. Cancelling the movie does not constitute being “censored”.

    The article also says, “right-wing protesters”. How does he come to the conclusion that because a group protests his movie that they “have a lot to lose finacially”?

    He says, “know the truth”. The “truth”? What? From him??? This video of his is deliberately misleading with baseless conjecture and half-truths.

  • BB

    What Psihoyos fails to understand is that it’s not just the pro-Japanese “extremists” who oppose the showing of this film; most of the Japanese public are enraged by this film and do not intend to see it. The screenings are being cancelled BECAUSE there is free speech in Japan. The theaters are listening to the voices of the people.

  • Cho cho ma

    Why did you write extremists in quotations? They are infact extremists. I direct you to AnimuX’s comment at the top. The Japanese are just afraid to see how cruel the slaughter is and how it might make them feel bad next time they eat dolphin meat.

    • Mick

      “The Japanese are just afraid to see how cruel the slaughter is and how it might make them feel bad next time they eat dolphin meat.”

      Is that your opinion or do you have special insight into what an entire nation of people are thinking?

  • Cho cho ma

    Mick, or fox news

    The Tea Party is for crazy people!

    • Mick

      “The Tea Party is for crazy people!”

      From what I have seen; PETA, HSUS, SS, ALF and ELF are for crazy people as well.

  • Cho cho ma

    You REALLY need to stop watching Palin and Beck

    • Mick

      Cho cho ma,

      “You REALLY need to stop watching Palin and Beck”

      Was that post directed at me? If so, I don’t even know who “Beck” is. And the only “Palin” I have ever watched was Michael Palin.

      • David

        “Is this the 5 minute argument or the full half hour?”

      • Mick

        “Just the five minutes.”

  • Cho cho ma

    Maybe people will find out where their food is really coming from-

    • Mick

      Nice article, Cho cho ma.

      “At the Oscars director Louie Psihoyos denied he was guilty of “Japan-bashing” and said it was meant as a public health warning to Japanese who are sold dolphin meat contaminated by mercury.”

      Is that so. But they only spent a few minutes of the film talking about that. And there was no mention of the people in Taiji, who eat dolphin meat regularly, having any health problems or dying from mercury poisoning. By the way, if the dolphins are so full of mercury, how come they’re not dying? If eating dolphin meat with high levels of mercury is bad wouldn’t it be just as bad for the dolphins to eat fish with high levels of mercury?

  • Cho cho ma

    Well, yes actually.

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