- (Photo: Screenshot/The Associated Press)
The crew associated with "Innocence of Muslims," the anti-Islam film reportedly linked to protests and fatalities in Egypt and Libya, is denying their support of the film, saying they were "grossly misled" of the film's intent.
"The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer," the entire 80-member cast and crew members which participated in the making of "Innocence of Muslims" said in a joint statement to CNN on Sept. 12.
"We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred," the statement added.
One actress in the 14-minute film, Cindy Lee Garcia of Bakersfield, Calif., told Gawker that she was extremely deceived when she accepted a small role in the anti-Islam film as the mother giving her daughter to the prophet Muhammad to marry.
The original casting call posted on Gawker describes the film's working title as "Desert Warriors," a "historical desert drama set in [the] Middle East" showing the lives of Egyptians 2,000 years ago.
Additionally, the role of Muhammad was originally named "Master George."
"It wasn't based on anything to do with religion, it was just on how things were run in Egypt. There wasn't anything about Muhammed or Muslims or anything," Garcia told Gawker of the original script.
Garcia went on to say that her original lines had been dubbed over post-filming with slanderous words regarding Muhammad and the Muslim religion.
"I had nothing to do really with anything," Garcia told Gawker Wednesday, when the Obama adminsitration confirmed the deaths of Ambassador Christoper Stevens and three other Americans in an on the U.S. embassy in Libya.
"Now we have people dead because of a movie I was in. It makes me sick," she added.
Garcia added that she plans to sue the film's producer and director, currently operating under the pseudonym "Sam Bacile," for his inaccurate portrayal of her acting.
On Wednesday, The Associated Press and a U.S. law enforcement official identified Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Southern California-based Coptic Christian, as the director of the incendiary film operating under the pseudonym "Sam Bacile."
Nakoula reportedly told The Wall Street Journal that "Islam is a cancer," and he regards the film as "a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam."
Additionally, Garcia says she spoke with Nakoula shortly after the Middle Eastern protests, and he told her as well that he created the film because he's "tired of radical Islamists killing each other."
Over 2,000 Muslim protesters reacted violently to "Innocence of Muslims," which was scheduled to be previewed online by controversial Florida Christian pastor Terry Jones on Sept. 11 as a part of his annual "International Judge Mohammed Day."
"Innocence of Muslims," which reportedly insults the prophet Muhammad, caused angry protesters to storm the U.S. embassies in Cairo and Benghazi on Sept. 11. The Americans who died, had succumbed to smoke inhalation after a grenade was thrown into the Benghazi embassy.
U.S. officials are now suggesting that the attacks on the U.S. embassies may have been pre-planned by hardline militant groups, one of which is associated with the terrorist organization al-Qaida.
Nakoula, 52, has reportedly gone into hiding since his film attracted attention. According to BBC News, his film was screened in July in a Hollywood theater, but gained attention in Egypt after translated clips were uploaded onto YouTube.
The news network reports that "Innocence of Muslims" became common knowledge in Egypt when Arab TV stations and talk shows started discussing the film in broadcasts, which is what sparked the violence. The protests, it is speculated, might have provided the opportunity for the pre-planned attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
Jones, head pastor of the reportedly recently dismantled Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., made headlines numerous times in the past by publicly burning the Quran, which led to riots in the Middle East that resulted in the deaths of 10 U.N. staffers in 2011.
His controversial and inflammatory actions have drawn frequent rebukes from members of the Christian community.
He told the Miami Herald that Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has personally requested that he avoid screening the short film in fear of it leading to more violence in the Middle East.
Technical difficulties reportedly railroaded the Sept. 11, 2012 screening on his website, but Jones told the publication that despite previously acquiescing to Gen. Demsey's request, he has now changed his mind.