In an explosion of relevancy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, best known as the people behind the Golden Globes, the awards ceremony that for a brief moment in time was the predictor for the Academy Awards, landed a Skype interview with WikiLeaks founder and interwebs pinup boy, Julian Assange. The fifty reporters who joined on the Skype video interview will be filing the stories tomorrow and into the week, and the HFPA have dropped juicy hints about what the platinum haired cyber-star discussed as part of the association’s rapidly expanding Round Table series of interviews.
We knew that getting a story with the importance of the Wikileaks controversy would be helpful in our efforts to broaden our reach beyond just interviewing the latest movie star. We hope that interviewing Julian Assange opens the door to other major interviews….My story for (Italian daily) La Stampa runs tomorrow and I know they’re really excited. This is clearly not the kind of story you work on every day.
The Skype call was arranged between the HFPA’s offices in West Hollywood and the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Assange has been living since June 2012 when he was granted diplomatic asylum. In his interview Assange warned of the dangers posed by the American security complex. He also stated that his family had received death threats. The interview took several months to arrange, and is timed perfectly to coincide with the release of the biopic The Fifth Estate, which Assange told the HFPA was
opportunistic and hostile.
The movie may well be, but it is also fomenting an increased interest in WikiLeaks, Assange, and the charges against him in Sweden. And while Assange may feel contrary to the adage that any publicity is good publicity, he’s getting a lot–and by speaking up again The Fifth Estate so clearly and loudly, so is the film. People will go to see it, and hopefully they will look deeper and longer into Assange, into WikiLeaks, into Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.
And it also remains to be seen if the HFPA will nominate The Fifth Estate for any Golden Globe categories.
Assange’s stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy began in June of last year when the British government sought, per the HFPA’s explanation:
to extradite him to Sweden under a European Arrest Warrant for questioning in relation to a sexual assault investigation. Metropolitan police officers have been stationed outside the embassy since Assange entered the building and have been ordered to arrest him if he attempts to leave…
WikiLeaks has been involved in the publication of material documenting extra-judicial killings in Kenya, a report on toxic waste dumping on the Ivory Coast, Church of Scientology manuals, Guantanamo Bay detention camp procedures, the July 12 2007 Baghdad air strike video and other documents.