Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings movies, has jumped to the defense of a Turkish man on trial for comparing his president to the character Gollum.
A physician named Bilgin Ciftci faces up to two years in prison for the following images comparing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Hobbit-like creature played by a computer-aided Andy Serkis in the movie series:
It is a crime in Turkey to insult the president. But in a statement to The Wrap, Jackson said the images were no insult as they were of Smeagol, Gollum’s friendly alter-ego.
“If the images below are in fact the ones forming the basis of this Turkish lawsuit, we can state categorically: None of them feature the character known as Gollum. All of them are images of the character called Smeagol,” Jackson said, along with screenwriters Fran Walsh and Phillippa Boyens. “Smeagol is a joyful, sweet character. Smeagol does not lie, deceive, or attempt to manipulate others. He is not evil, conniving, or malicious.”
The Turkish court had called in character experts to assess whether a comparison to Gollum would be considered an insult. Ciftci’s hearing is scheduled for February 2016.
- LeBron James Could Take Pickleball—Yes, Pickleball—to the Next Level
- It's Going to Be a Lot More Expensive to Heat Your Home This Winter. Here's What To Expect
- The U.S. Might Be the Surprising Determining Factor in the Future of Armenia
- Rapper Saucy Santana Is Opening a Door For His Community
- Here are the Biggest Moments from the TIME100 Leadership Forum and Impact Awards in Singapore
- Column: Russia Wants to Lock Ukraine Back in the Soviet Cellar
- As the Kanjuruhan Tragedy Shows, Indonesia Has Not Resolved Its Long-Standing Problem of Soccer Violence
- Here's Everything New on Netflix in October 2022
- A New Documentary Series Illuminates the History and Evolution of Queer Horror