US judge rejects call to ban YouTube anti-Muslim film

September 21, 2012 6:29 am
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Garcia is one of three actresses in the film to have come forward with similar accusations/AFP
LOS ANGELES, Sep 20 – A US judge on Thursday rejected a request by an actress in the anti-Islamic video that set off violent Muslim protests to ban YouTube from showing the trailer, after claiming that she was duped.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Louis Lavin refused the request by lawyers for actress Cindy Lee Garcia for a restraining order to prevent the online video-sharing service from continuing to show the low-budget movie trailer.

Garcia is one of three actresses in the film to have come forward with similar accusations since the explosion of violence that ripped through Muslim countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia last week.

She sued YouTube and its owner Google for releasing excerpts of the amateurish film, “Innocence of Muslims,” which was later dubbed into Arabic and made to show the Prophet Mohammed as a thuggish womanizer.

Her lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, alleges that the movie’s director, identified by the pseudonym Sam Bacile, presented it as an adventure film about ancient Egyptians, called “Desert Warrior.”

The English version of the 14-minute trailer, which has already been withdrawn from YouTube in a number of countries, includes blatantly overdubbed parts of dialogue.

Her lawsuit alleges that the movie’s director, identified by the pseudonym Sam Bacile, presented it as an adventure film about ancient Egyptians, called “Desert Warrior.”

Garcia has suffered severe emotional distress, financial setbacks and the “destruction of her career and reputation,” the lawsuit says.

The actress’s lawyer Cris Armenta said she was duped by the producer and now her life is in danger. “Clearly she was defrauded, clearly she was lied to,” he said.

Speaking before the hearing, Garcia said she hoped the court would take immediate action to ban YouTube from hosting the video trailer, arguing that its continued availability puts her at risk of attack.

“I think, yes, we have a right to free speech, but what they did was wrong,” she said, calling the movie “degrading and demoralizing.”

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