Thursday, January 15, 2009

Actors' plea to Obama: End our exile!

Actors John Goodman, Lenny Henry and Robbie Coltrane have joined forces to write an open letter to President-elect Barack Obama, asking him to end the exile they have endured for years as a result of three comedy films the trio made in the 1990s.

The films in question are the Robbie Coltrane film "The Pope Must Die" - the title of which caused outrage amongst the Catholic community; "King Ralph" in which John Goodman played an American slob who became the British sovereign - and which outgraged Brits; and finally "True Identity" in which Lenny Henry portrayed a black man who changed his skin colour and became a white person in order to get a job - enraging blacks.

All three actors suffered as a consequence of these films. Coltrane was barred from entering any Catholic country and was threatened with prison if he entered the Vatican; Goodman was declared a persona non grata if he entered Britain, while Lenny Henry was disavowed by the black community.

Now all three are asking the new US president to intervene on their behalf. "End our unjust shame," states the letter "We misjudged how far 90s comedy could go, but we have learned our lesson." The President-elect's office has declined to comment on the matter.

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