Acclaimed Canadian director Norman Jewison says he was “shocked” by
Doug Ford’s dismissive comments on Margaret Atwood, accusing the city
councillor of betraying the author and all Canadian artists.
Asked by CBC Radio if he had any
comment on Ford’s statement last month — after Atwood criticized his
desire to close libraries — that, “If she walked by me, I wouldn’t have a
clue who she is” — the 85-year-old director of films including Moonstruck and Jesus Christ Superstar didn’t hold back.
“I don’t think we celebrate our
artists like we should and other countries celebrate them. So when you
get somebody in Toronto on the city council and he doesn’t know who
Margaret Atwood is, that’s shocking to me. I’m just absolutely shocked,”
“The world knows who Margaret Atwood
is. I mean, why doesn’t he?” said Jewison, the Toronto-born, U of
T-educated founder of the Canadian Film Centre on Bayview Ave.
“Where does he live — in a hole somewhere?”
Jewison noted he has made many films
on the theme of betrayal, adding: “I felt that Margaret Atwood was
betrayed, but I felt all Canadian artists were betrayed by a statement
like that. It just shocked me.”