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Sunday, April 06, 2008

SOUND OFF: SPIELBERG'S CHINA SYNDROME

My readers were split on whether movie director Steven Spielberg did the right thing by pulling out of his commitment to serve as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing after failing to convince China's president to exert his nation's influence on the government of Sudan to put a stop to the genocide in Darfur.

"I applaud Mr. Spielberg's stance on China," writes Daniel Allison of Kingsville, Ontario. "I am glad to know that I am not alone in my condemnation of the Chinese government and all those involved in the 2008 summer games."

"Mr. Spielberg's decision to quit as artistic adviser to the Olympics in Beijing this summer is unfortunate," writes Susan Hammond of Irvine, Calif., "and will cause him to miss a significant and timely opportunity to be a catalyst for change."

"The Chinese government has gotten too many people to forgive its human-rights abuses and involvement in places like Darfur through its seductive offer of cheap labor and a large market," writes Eric McNulty of Brookline, Mass. "Spielberg's decision is the right one for him. More should follow."

"What makes Steven Spielberg think that he has the right to tell China how to handle its international affairs?" asks Burl Estes of Mission Viejo, Calif.

Check out other opinions at "Olympian Decisions," or post your own by clicking on "comments" or "post a comment" below.

Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business and The Good, the Bad, and Your Business: Choosing Right When Ethical Dilemmas Pull You Apart, is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to rightthing@nytimes.com or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.

c.2008 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

1 comment:

Barb Cutler said...

Our friend Steven Spielberg is a Made-in-the-USA soul who has filmed enough attrocities to know China's Olympics was a dichotomy he could not stomach. Steven did The Right Thing!
Barb Cutler
Orange, CA