Neil Gaiman shared a letter by a young, frightened actress today. I wanted to link to it, and also to talk a little about the nature of truth.
Anna wrote to Neil asking for his advice and he wrote back to Ms. Anna Gurji, and told her to send him her story. He said “The best weapon against lies is the truth, after all.” And he’s right.
Ms. Gurji was lied to, by the makers of a film. They intended to spread hate, and in doing so, they implicated artists in their argument. Telling the truth about this film is important, not only because there are people in other countries who are violently angry about the film she was in – and for this reason she has a right to be afraid. Telling the truth about this film means that she doesn’t have to stand for being a mouthpiece for anti-Islamic rhetoric.
As actors, when we do a play, we inherently lend our bodies and our images to the words and stories we are telling. Without the integrity of knowing what the stories are we don’t have the integrity of our work. I write today because I want to give Anna Gurji credit where it’s due, that she is willing to stand up, to ask for help, and to tell the truth. I applaud her willingness to stand up, be counted, and to speak against the hurt she feels.
I appreciate that Neil Gaiman wants to tell the truth about these sorts of things, because as a well known storyteller, his ability to be a trustworthy source only lends more credit to his name.
I thank them both for their integrity as artists, and their dedication to telling the story which is true, even if it is frightening.