Saturday, January 26, 2002
Hollywood, Calif. Emmy Award-winning, Oscar-nominated actor James Woods, whose personal beliefs are often as controversial as the roles he plays, has landed himself in hot water for remarks he made to KTLA's entertainment editor Sam Rubin about terrorists and people who harbor terrorists.
"If they harbor terrorists we should wipe them off the face of the Earth," says Woods, 54, in an interview with Rubin for the Denzel Washington film "John Q," in which Woods plays a heart specialist who offers to jeopardize his career to help a poor black-American father whose son needs a transplant.
In the interview, Woods refers to terrorists as "diaper heads" and worries that diplomats will be waiting until "they do something more terrible" before the world decides to "take out" the leaders of the terrorists, and governments that support terrorism.
Jean Abinader, the managing director for the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C., tells Zap2it "I think Mr. Woods is off his medication, only a lunatic would speak like this."
After being read excepts of Woods' quotes, Abinader ï¿½ who has spoken to Congress about the depiction of Arabs by Hollywood ï¿½ says, "James Woods needs to start dealing with reality. He thinks we should react like Chuck Norris or Sylvester Stallone or Steven Segal would react."
In an interview with Zap2it Sunday, Woods discussed the Sept. 11 attacks, saying, "You always try to look for a blessing in a horribly dark event like that, and one of the blessings, I think, besides the cohesion of the country, is that we tend to appreciate life so much more when you see how almost ridiculously simple it can be to have it destroyed. When somebody as despicable as these terrorists can attack us like that, you realize that you've just got to enjoy and live and be productive every day of your life."
Woods says very plainly in the interview with Rubin that, "The only way to stop a terrorist is to cut his head off."
Abinader says the statements the actor made make him sound as bad as the terrorists and warns that people should remain calm, adding, "We should not give in to the ugly side, but work on values that we share."