The Da Vinci Code Controversy:

Albinism on "Inside Edition"

On March 20th, 2006 the television program "Inside Edition" ran a piece about Silas, the evil character with albinism in the film version of "The Da Vinci Code." The following is a transcript of the segment. is not affiliated with "Inside Edition." Though the transcript is presented verbatim, we prefer the phrase "people with albinism" rather than "albino."

Inside Edition's Diane McInerney: It's perhaps the most anticipated movie of the year. Now chalk up another controversy for "The Da Vinci Code." This time it's albinos who are upset.


In the just released trailer, we get a better look at the upcoming movie's shadowy bad guy. The murderous self-mutilating hit man called Silas played by actor Paul Bettany is based on the albino character from the book. But June Waugh, an albino teacher in California, thinks the portrayal of the albino as a bad guy is Hollywood stereotyping.

June Waugh, member of NOAH, the National Organization of Albinism and Hypopigmentation: "I certainly do feel that enough is enough. The characteristics of Silas are not the characteristics of us."

The inherited condition that albinos suffer from is rare, affecting one in 17,000. They have reduced pigmentation in the skin and often have problems with eyesight.

The "Code's" Silas is the latest in a long line of albino bad guys in movies. There was "Cold Mountain," "The Matrix: Reloaded," and "Lethal Weapon."

Mel Gibson in "Lethal Weapon:" "That albino jack rabbit son of a--"

Waugh says she has no reservations about criticizing "The Da Vinci Code" before it's out.

Waugh: "There have been 67 movies since 1960 where the protagonist is an evil albino. We're not evil. We're not deviants. We're not pathetic like Silas."

More on albinism in movies...

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