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Netflix movie ‘The Last Mercenary’ draws criticism in Bangladesh

Netflix, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, BGMEA, Ted Anthony Sarandos

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Netflix movie ‘The Last Mercenary’ draws criticism in Bangladesh

A Netflix produced movie titled ‘The Last Mercenary’ has drawn extreme criticism in Bangladesh for a dialogue about ‘Made in Bangladesh’ readymade garments. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan has written to US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller, drawing attention to this matter.

In his letter, the BGMEA leader wrote: “We request your steps to stop streaming the movie ‘Last Mercenary’ on Netflix until the dialogue or the scene is removed from the movie”.

The dialogue in the movie said, “Yes, Bulletproof Tuxedo, Made in France. I’d be dead if it were Bangladesh”.

Hassan said the remarks have been also irrelevantly and irrationally juxtaposed in the movie, as Bangladesh does not produce any “bullet-proof apparel”.

“So, since its release on Netflix on July 30, 2021, the movie ‘Last Mercenary’ has been hurting every lover and maker of ‘Made in Bangladesh’,” said the BGMEA chief.

On Monday, BGMEA’s president Faruque Hassan wrote a letter to Netflix CEO Ted Anthony Sarandos. The last movie, The Last Mercenary, directed by David Sharon, was released on Netflix on July 30.

According to the letter, the film contains anti-Bangladesh propaganda, anti-Bangladeshi dress (Made in Bangladesh) propaganda and insulting dialogue.

The film shows the main star ‘The Mist’ in his dialogue making negative remarks about Bangladeshi-made clothing, which hurts the feelings and pride of Bangladeshis as a nation.

So soon after the release of the film, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan objected to the matter and requested in a letter to remove the offensive dialogue or scene from the film.

At the same time, he requested the CEO of Netflix to suspend the screening of the film until the offensive dialogue or scene is removed.

In this regard, BGMEA further informed that a letter has been sent to the director of the said film, Secretary of Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ambassador of Bangladesh to France, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Washington and US Ambassador to Dhaka.

‘The Last Mercenary’ is an action-comedy style movie released on Netflix. The 112-minute film is directed by David Sharon.

Below is the full text of BGMEA’s letter to Netflix CEO Theodore Anthony Sarandos Jr:

Dear Mr. Sarandos,

Hope you are fine and staying safe. We would like to express our great appreciation to the leadership that you have been providing to Netflix and making Netflix the best global streaming content provider of the world. Millions of Bangladeshis enjoy and subscribe to Netflix either from Bangladesh or Bangladeshi diasporas from across different parts of the world.

We would like to draw your kind attention to a French movie “Last Mercenary” directed by David Charon and released on Netflix on 30th July 2021; which contains disrespectful and derogatory comments about ‘Made in Bangladesh’ garments. The comments in the movie say “Yes, Bulletproof Tuxedo, Made in France. I’d be dead if it were Bangladesh”. These comments are tantamount to belittling the hard work, dedication, quality and on time manufacturing commitment of the 4 million garment workers of Bangladesh who are delivering ‘Made in Bangladesh’ apparel to about 160 countries of the world, including the USA.

We think these disrespectful remarks not only undermined the joint efforts made by Bangladesh RMG Industry along with its international development partners which ensured progress and development that are being recognized internationally and receiving worldwide appreciations; but also dishonored the emotion of millions of consumers worldwide whose wardrobes are full with ‘Made in Bangladesh’ attires and many of which are their favorites. The apparel manufacturers and workers of Bangladesh put all their dedication and commitments to supply apparel for the top global brands; and they take a lot of pride in what they make. This hard work and pride should be respected by all. Therefore, BGMEA, on behalf of all the manufacturers and workers of Bangladesh apparel industry, is vehemently protesting the comments made in the movie “Last Mercenary”.

In view of the above, we seek and request your urgent attention and demand that the dialogue from the scene of the movie that degrades garments ‘Made in Bangladesh’ to be expunged. We are also requesting you, being a responsible and reputable company, to stop streaming the movie “Last Mercenary” on Netflix until the dialogue or the scene is removed from the movie. Your heartiest support and cooperation in this regard would be highly appreciated.

Below is the full text of BGMEA’s letter to Ambassador Earl R Miller:

Dear Excellency,

Hope you are fine and in good health. We express our gratitude for your continuous support towards readymade garment (RNG) industry of Bangladesh and towards the people of the country. The significant progress Bangladesh RNG industry made over last few years in the areas of workplace safety, improved workers’ health, sustainable manufacturing and green revolution also largely owes to the support of the Embassy of the US in Dhaka.

While Bangladesh RMG industry has achieved so much progress; when this contributed to rank Bangladesh the second in *Ethical Manufacturing’, only after Taiwan, in a survey recently conducted by Hong Kong based supply chain compliance solutions provider QIMA.

At a moment when Bangladesh’s RMG industry after addressing the safety concerns is leading green garment manufacturing in the world by examples; derogatory comments about ‘Made in Bangladesh’ in a newly released French movie “Last I’4ercenary” directed by David Charon has appalled us and shocked us all by surprise. The comments in the movie say “Yes, Bulletproof Tuxedo, Made in France. I’d be dead if it were Bangladesh”.

These comments are tantamount to belittling the hard work, dedication, quality and on time manufacturing commitment of the 4 million garment workers of Bangladesh who are delivering ’blade in Bangladesh’ apparel to about 160 countries of the world, including the US.

We think these disrespectful remarks not only undermined the joint efforts made by Bangladesh RMG industry along with their development partners like the US which ensured progress and development that are being recognized internationally and receiving worldwide appreciations; but also dishonored the emotion of thousands of US consumers whose wardrobes are full with ‘Made in Bangladesh’ attires and many of which are their favorites.

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Ronju Sarkar is a Staff Correspondent of Blitz

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