Stephen Graham and 'One Night in Istanbul'
ANFIELD ROAD has been asked to publish the following statement from Emile Coleman, one of the producers of the original theatre production of ‘One Night in Istanbul’.
It has been brought to my attention that Kirkby-born Hollywood actor Stephen Graham was invited to and attended the premier of the movie version of ‘One Night in Istanbul’ in Liverpool last night, despite his well-known and repeated association with the Sun newspaper.
People are only too well aware that the Sun newspaper has been the subject of a long standing, spontaneous and growing boycott for its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, including front page headlines it admitted decades later were completely untrue. That coverage led to increased suffering for families of the victims and for survivors, suffering I have seen at first hand, and explains why such a boycott has been sustained in such numbers for over 25 years.
Stephen Graham, despite being from the area and undoubtedly aware not only of that boycott, but also the reasons behind it, has allowed himself on more than one occasion to be associated with that newspaper. He will be well aware of the depth of feeling against that publication and is in a better position than most to not only support the boycott, but to publicise and strengthen it. That he chooses to use it for its undoubted ability to promote celebrities to an audience unaware or unconcerned about its history of wrongdoing is of course his choice, but that’s a choice that has led to him being seen in much the same light as that newspaper by those who support the long-standing and ongoing fight for justice for the 96 victims and countless survivors of Hillsborough.
As one of the producers of the highly acclaimed and successful theatre production of ‘One Night in Istanbul’ I wish to make it clear that I, as a co-owner of the original production company, am in no way connected to the movie version that premiered last night. Had I been involved there is absolutely no way that the insensitive decision to invite a celebrity synonymous with the Sun would have even been considered, let alone taken, regardless of how much extra publicity it might bring to the venture.
I find it highly disappointing that those involved in organising last night’s event felt comfortable about compromising the hard work of so many campaigners over such a long period of time, but more importantly felt comfortable about taking an action they knew would cause great hurt to people they should be supporting.