The ''Brokedown Palace'' star, along with Marvel Comics, UPN, and ''The Seige,'' should think before she speaks

By Suna Chang
October 16, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Forget anger-management classes. What Hollywood really needs is a crash course in political correctness. At least that’s how it must seem to the various ethnic-racial-religious communities recently riled by a string of cultural faux pas apparently committed by entertainment types. Here, then, are some less-than-diplomatic affairs.

the offenders CLAIRE DANES

the offenses After filming Brokedown Palace in the Philippines, Danes said Manila ”smelled of cockroaches,” and locals were ”people with, like, no arms….”

the outcomes Danes publicly apologized after Manila city councillors authored a resolution banning her films. ”If Danes is free to say whatever she wants, then our politicians can say whatever they want,” says a spokesman for the Philippine embassy.

the offenders UPN

the offenses The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer, about a black butler to Abe Lincoln, outraged black groups, in part because a scene appeared to depict a lynching.

the outcomes Spurred by protests, UPN shelved the offending pilot (airing the second episode instead) but says the show will go on. A representative of the L.A.-based Brotherhood Crusade, however, says the protest will not stop until Pfeiffer is canceled.

the offenders MARVEL COMICS

the offenses In its Wolverine comic book, issue No. 131, a new character was described as ”a kike known as Sabretooth.”

the outcomes After discovering the typo (it should have read killer) Marvel recalled 250,000 copies — earning kudos from such groups as the Anti-Defamation League. A Marvel spokeswoman says all its comics will now undergo an extra editing process.

the offenders 20TH CENTURY FOX

the offenses The Siege. Fictional scenes (a terrorist attack on the U.S.) have the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee fearful about negative stereotyping.

the outcomes Director Edward Zwick met with group reps last spring, and a special screening for them was set for this month. Says ADC spokesman Hussein Ibish, ”I can assure you if it’s offensive, we will not sit by.”

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