Who Would Star in a Trayvon Movie?
November 27 , 2013 - WND.com
So asked the Orlando Sentinel Tuesday in a fairly tasteless 49-photo essay titled, literally, “ Who would star in the Trayvon Martin movie?”
“Now that George Zimmerman's murder trial is over,” said the Sentinel, “it may not be long before some sort of biopic hits the small screen. Here's our best guess for who would star in the biopic.”
The Sentinel, which has been obsessed with the story out of nearby Sanford since the news of it broke in March 2012, misses the obvious here. Today, Hollywood really can’t make a “Trayvon” movie.
A generation ago, Hollywood could have. Before the advent of an aggressive alternative media, Hollywood could just tell any story it chose to. Today, Hollywood is at least somewhat constrained by the truth tellers.
This became obvious with the release of the 1999 Denzel Washington movie, “The Hurricane.” A backlash from those who knew the facts of the Rubin “Hurricane” Carter murder case cost Washington an Oscar and the producers a whole lot of box office.
What Hollywood should make is a “Zimmerman” movie, but I am not my holding my breath on that one, and I can assure you that there has been no bidding war for the rights to my book.
It is ironic that the Sentinel would frame this as a “Trayvon” movie. Despite the paper’s proximity to the scene of Martin’s shooting by George Zimmerman, the paper chose to know as little as possible about the real Trayvon Martin.
In the year or so between arrest and trial, the blogging collective known as the Conservative Treehouse had been doing the research into Martin’s background that the major media should have been doing.
The Treeper known as “Sundance” had made excellent progress into finding out the details of a stolen jewelry bust in which Martin had been fingered.
Knowing that an established paper could get responses that a blog could not, the Sundance tried to interest Sentinel reporter Rene Stutzman in the case.
Sundance had taken the story about as far as a blogger could. Through some clever investigating, he had identified a home burglary in the neighborhood of Martin’s high school on the same day that Martin had been busted for possessing stolen female jewelry.
The latter jewelry was still in possession of the school police. Sundance explained to the reporter that he needed to compare it to the jewelry stolen in the home burglary and needed the Sentinel’s help to do it.
"You want us to publish your stuff, right?” asked Stutzman.
Sundance tried again to explain. “No,” said Sundance. "I hold no proprietary ownership of the truth. I've just been digging holes trying to find it, and now, after months of digging, I have narrowed down the location to within inches.”
Sundance just wanted her to look at the documents he had acquired and make up her own mind.
At this point, Stutzman reverted to her institutional protection mode. “If [this information] pertains to Trayvon Martin’s criminal behavior, or evidence of burglary, we are not interested,” she told him.
“Our editors and editorial board have decided that nothing about that has anything to do with the events in Sanford.”
This is the same editorial board that green-lit the profoundly unsubstantiated and utterly irrelevant story that the eight-year old George Zimmerman allegedly molested a six-year old cousin.
This is the same editorial board that promotes every Zimmerman misstep or seeming misstep as some sort of perverse vindication of its own myopic view of the case.
On the day of the Trayvon movie story, for instance, the top story in the Sentinel’s email blast read, “OS Breaking News: Deputies find five guns in George Zimmerman's home, search warrant reveals.”
The Sentinel did not mention that its own misreporting on the case had helped make Zimmerman the most openly hunted man in America since Dillinger.
The New Black Panther Party had unapologetically offered a $10,000 bounty for the capture of “child killer” George Zimmerman and passed out “Wanted Dead or Alive” posters.
Not to be out-menaced, the New Black Liberation Militia had promised to head to Florida and attempt a citizen’s arrest on George. “We’ll find him. We’ve got his mug shot and everything,” Najee Muhammad, a leader of the militia group, told the Associated Press.
The five legally-owned guns might have seemed excessive to the Sentinel editors, but obviously not to Zimmerman. If the New Black Panther Party had rescinded its fatwah on this “child killer,” no one told him or the media, and the DOJ had yet to complain.
As to who would play Trayvon, the Sentinel picked an entirely obscure actor named John Boyega who, if nothing else, looks the part.
In a rare acknowledgment of his Hispanic background, the Sentinel cast Carlos Mencia as Zimmerman even though the Honduran-born Mencia is sixteen years older than Zimmerman.
The one inspired casting decision was the choice of plus-sized actress Gabourey Sidibe—she of “Precious” fame—as Rachel Jeantel.
If not Trayvon, Hollywood could make a Rachel Jeantel biopic. That is one I just might pay to see.
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