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Laura Chaplin (Facebook)


Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter calls out Merkel over comedian controversy

By WITW Staff on April 18, 2016

Laura Chaplin, granddaughter of legendary comic actor Charlie Chaplin, has lashed out at German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her decision to allow the prosecution of a German comedian who had insulted the Turkish president to go forward. The comedian, Jan Böhmermann insulted Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on television and can now be prosecuted under a controversial, old German law that makes it illegal to insult a foreign head of state, and carries a prison term of up to five years.

Even though an actual prosecution is highly unlikely, Chancellor Merkel’s decision to allow the process to go forward has been heavily criticized in Germany, with two-thirds of Germans opposing her on the issue. Speaking to Bild am Sontag, Laura Chaplin, a writer and painter living in Switzerland called the decision “incomprehensible,” and compared it to the way American and British governments tried to block her grandfather from making The Great Dictator out of fear of insulting Hitler. “The US government hindered my grandfather from making The Great Dictator for years because the German government threatened economic sanctions if there was a satire against Hitler,” she said. “If you applied the German government’s current decision to the time, Charlie Chaplin would never have been able to make The Great Dictator because he’d have constantly been in court.”

Read the full story at The Telegraph.