Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Harrison Ford responds by email, sort of, to my oped in the Taipei Times the other day. Sort of

Dear Danny Boy,

As you know from listening to and reading my various interviews
earlier in the year for my ''Extraordinary Measures'' publicity tour.
I often have expressed my admiration and respect for the MANY doctors
and researchers and lab technicians who played roles in the Pompe cure
events. Geeta in her book also pays respect to all of them. Of course,
as I am sure you know, it was never my intention to leave anyone out
of the story, but a Hollywood movie, a medical thriller, it needs a
story arc, it needs conflict and a small cast of characters, it needs
intimacy, so we had to settle for a story that was Mr Crowly vs Dr
Stonehill, with the happy ending the movie achieves. Of course,
Stonehill is NOT Dr Chen of Taiwan, he was never meant to be Dr Chen.
If he was anyone, he was Dr Canfield, but we decided for artistic and
you might say legal reasons to change Dr Canfield's character to an
imaginary Dr Stonehill. But the medical research in our movie was
never meant to be an Asian man, so those charges of yellow-washing or
whitewashing, are not fair, Danny. We made the best movie we could,
and after reading your oped in the Taipei Times the other day -- by
the way, I like your Chinese name here, sounds like Dan Brown, right?
-- I am glad you liked the movie. I heard that you had tears in your
eyes, moist tears of recognition and human joy at the family struggles
and the scientific struggles involved, and yes, Robert Nelson Jacoby
(the Nelson is his wife's maiden name, by the way) did a great job
with the screenplay.

So Danny, let me just say: I appreciate your concern, I am glad you
wrote, and I hope now that you better understand my intentions and the
ground rules I had to work with. Your point that the opening or
closing credits COULD HAVE included a short note about thanking, with
names, the other scientists and doctors involved in this uplifting
medical story, including Dr Chen of Taiwan, who was INSTRUMENTAL is
coming up with the final Pompe cure and the trials, too, YES, Danny
Boy Bloom, good point, and I will try to find some way, if possible,
to add a sentence or two in the final credits in the future. Maybe a
BluRay edition or a director's cut later. We did not intentionally
leave any of the other scientists out, but you are right, it WAS an
oversight, and I apologize for that oversight. I am glad you wrote and
I am glad you care so much about movies that you take the time to
reach me. You did reach me. I heard you.


Harrison Ford

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