Last week, the American Ambassador to Libya and three others were killed after an anti-Muslim movie trailer for “Innocence of Muslims” sparked protests at the US consulate in Benghazi.
But the film at the center of the controversy is now in question as to whether the 14-minute-long trailer is even a full-length film at all.
While the trailer has over 4.5 million hits on YouTube, no one seems to have actually seen the film being teased.
Novice filmmaker-slash-real estate developer Sam Bacile (aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula), who is currently in hiding following the Libya attacks, previously stated that the film—then called “The Innocence of Bin Laden”—was screened in its entirety at the Vine Theatre in Hollywood.
But a theater employee told the Los Angeles Times no one attended the screening, nor did the employee watch the movie.
A longer version of the film is touted on YouTube as “Innocence of Muslims 74 Min”—but it is simply the same 14 minutes of trailer footage looped over and over.
One of the film’s actors, Cindy Lee Garcia, told The Hollywood Reporter that she, too, has seen nothing beyond the 14-minutes, but Bacile boasted during filming that they were shooting an epic two-hour action movie.
“The movie doesn’t exist,” explains Marium Mohiuddin of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which advises Hollywood producers on how to portray Muslims accurately. “We’ve been looking hard for a full movie, and we haven’t found anything.”
“There’s a complete misconception that this is a major Hollywood project and not a poorly thrown-together video,” adds Mohiuddin. “They’re used to government-sanctioned entertainment, so they think that this has been sanctioned by the U.S. government, which makes sense to them because they believe Americans mistreat Muslims who live in America.”