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"Hollywood stereotypes violence to women"

The film industry is partly to blame for the global culture of violence against women, Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart said.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2004 10:04 IST

The film industry is partly to blame for the global culture of violence against women, Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart said on Friday.

"The entertainment industry has been extremely irresponsible in perpetuating and stereotyping the violent attitudes of men to women," said Stewart at the launch of an Amnesty International campaign against attacks on women.

Stewart, who revealed that as a child he had witnessed his father beating up his mother, picked out Quentin Tarantino's revenge tale Kill Bill for particular criticism.

"I condemn utterly films like Kill Bill. We are told it is about empowering women. All it does is empower a woman to kill other women," he told reporters.

The film industry had much to be ashamed of in its portrayal of women, he added.

"It's a lazy and sensationalist approach. I condemn it entirely. The entertainment industry has to be super-watchful over this," he said.

Stewart, who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek, came close to tears at times when he talked of his own experiences as a child. He said he had been degraded as he heard and watched his father's descent into alcohol-fuelled violence against his mother, and disgusted as the people around them simply turned a blind eye.

"I saw society police, doctors and neighbours - conspire to hide the abuse," he said. "Violence against women diminishes us all. If you fail to raise your hand in protest you are part of the problem."

Amnesty said one in every three of the world's women - had been beaten, forced to have sex or otherwise abused - often by a friend or family member.

Around the world one woman in five would suffer a rape or attempted rape at some point, and the practice had even become a weapon of war, it said in a report "It's in our hands. Stop violence against women".

Eve Ensler, author of the award-winning Vagina Monologues play which donates part of its proceeds to women's projects said there were reports that 70 women a month were being abducted from Baghdad and sold to the sex trade since the U.S. invasion last year.

"The future of the planet is at risk when women are desecrated," she said on the same platform as Stewart.

First Published: Mar 08, 2004 10:04 IST