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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX FRI MARCH 08, 2002 10:34:29 ET XXXXX
UNIVERSAL RIPS DRUDGE AFTER NASH BASH; ACADEMY VOTERS QUESTION 'BEAUTIFUL' OMISSIONS
Universal Pictures chairman Stacey Snider accused the DRUDGE REPORT on Thursday of "tumbling down" a "moral slope" after it was revealed how filmmakers of the Oscar nominated film A BEAUTIFUL MIND quietly left out all references to John Nash's anti-Semitic views.
Jew Bashing scenes found in the book "A Beautiful Mind: The Life of the Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash" were completely scrubbed from the film, directed by Ron Howard and staring Russell Crowe -- even though actor Crowe's picture is featured on the paperback of the biography!
Snider, who is Jewish, blasted the DRUDGE REPORT in interviews with journalists gathered in Las Vegas for ShoWest 2002.
"Lines that should be clear to all of us have recklessly been crossed," Snider said, after it was revealed how Nash once wrote in a letter: "The root of all evil, as far as my personal life is concerned are Jews."
Author Sylvia Nasar's repeated references to Nash's feeling towards Jews were deliberately left off the screen, a move that has troubled some Academy voters.
Now three Academy members have come forward to reveal how they've switched their votes.
Explained one voter from New York: "When the movie was first released, they latched themselves to the book, putting Russell's face on the cover... issuing press releases about the 'life of John Nash'. I have one right here. And now they are distancing themselves from it all, saying it was only loosely based?"
As OSCAR voting comes to a close, Snider and MIND filmmakers are making great attempts to slowdown the growing controversy.
"These are just tabloid headlines," Snider told the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. "If you are a responsible writer, you don't take statements out of context that someone made during a 35-year battle with schizophrenia."
Snider told reporters that DRUDGE is being used by a rival studio to smear the UNIVERSALDREAMWORKS film.
DREAMWORKS heavy Jeffrey Katzenberg told one associate: "This is the lowest smear I've ever seen in this business!"
"When something goes on DRUDGE, it does not get there by accident," echoed SUN-TIMES columnist Roger Ebert on Friday's Howard Stern broadcast.
["No. Most psychotics do hate the Jews," barked Stern.]
Writes Nasar: "Before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, [Nash] explained, he was a left-wing Palestinian Arab refugee, a member of the PLO, and a refugee making a "g indent" in Israel's border, petitioning Arab nations to protect him from 'falling under the power of the Israeli state...
"Later when Nash became paranoid and embraced all sorts of strange delusions, he wrote letters to Newman and others addressed 'Jewboy'. He became obsessed with the state of Israel and talked about 'Krypto-Zionist conspiracies.'"
Also left out of Howard's BEAUTIFUL:
-- How Nash fathered an illegitimate son and refused to support him.
The filmmakers "completely left me out of it. They tried to pretend I don't exist," Nash mistress Elenor Stier explained.
-- Details of Nash's 1954 arrest for 'indecent exposure' and 'making a come-on to another man' in a public bathroom.
'American audiences don't care to see Russell Crowe getting it on with a man! It would just kill us at the boxoffice," a production source said earlier this year.
MIND received 8 nominations, including Best Picture, Director and Actor.
Ron Howard was named ShoWest director of the year Thursday night in Vegas.
Filed By Matt Drudge
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