The imprisonment of former Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde has been going on since late May 2014, provoking a number of reports on the conditions under which he is being held.
Despite being accused of non-violent crimes, Peter is being held in a high-security unit and without concern for his dietary needs. As a result he’s literally wasting away.
Following the tragic death of his father who recently succumbed to a long-standing set of illnesses, the week delivered yet more bad news. Although the prison would allow him to attend the funeral, Peter was told he could expect to carry his father’s coffin wearing handcuffs.
Understandably the news provoked much outrage. Why would a non-violent and now-frail man with with just a few days left on his sentence try to escape from not one but two prison guards? As that improbable situation was discussed among supporters online, a much less traditional support group were asking the same questions.
Hollywood director Lexi Alexander has been a vocal supporter of Peter and earlier this year broke with the usual Tinseltown position by calling for his release.
While her outspoken approach is uncharacteristic of a Hollywood worker, it may come as a surprise that she is definitely not on her own. During recent weeks the director and actress, who has several movies under her belt, called for other like-minded individuals in Hollywood to make themselves known.
The result was the publication a few minutes ago of a video dedicated to the uncuffing, release and support of Peter Sunde.
“We created this video in solidarity with Peter as he attends his father’s funeral today,” Alexander told TorrentFreak.
“Originally I had planned to do this over the next few weeks, but when I heard about Peter’s father’s death yesterday, we scrambled and got it together within a few hours.”
While a few of the people in the video have understandably chosen to remain anonymous, others have been very happy to show their faces. With the famous Hollywood sign in the background, first up, Julie Bush.
“Julie Bush was pro-piracy before I even knew what file-sharing meant,” Alexander told TF. “She used to be a writer on the show Sons of Anarchy and now she’s writing a major property for Universal Studios: Robert Ludlum’s The Sigma Protocol.”
Bush has written on a number of occasions about Hollywood’s “dumb” approach to piracy.
“Many showrunners and executives I know not only pirate stuff all the time but also privately endorse the idea that piracy is good for the industry, a great way to advertise, and essential to building a healthy audience,” she explained last year.
The gentleman holding up the sign calling for the un-cuffing of Peter is actor Ross McCall. He appeared in Band of Brothers, Alexander’s movies Green Street and Green Street 2, before moving on to star in TV series including Crash, White Collar and Luther.
“The pretty blonde [0m 53s] is producer Catrin Cooper. Very outspoken about her opposition to criminalizing file-sharing,” Alexander continues. Cooper has worked in several roles on movies including Casino Royale, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Batman Begins.
“The guy with ‘Free Peter Sunde’ on his shirt is a writer and actor named Edward DeRuiter, one of his movies was just released last month,” Alexander adds.
“Then there’s Brent Weichsel, who against my advice decided to put his name and union on the sign. He’s Local 600 Camera Assistant.”
It’s quite something and particularly brave for these individuals to put their name to the support of someone described by studio bosses as someone intent on the ruination of the industry. That said, and as clearly pointed out on one of the signs held up in the video, Hollywood workers are not only writers and directors, they’re also humans too.
The video, which features writers and authors, directors, producers, a screenwriter, a cinematographer, an engineer and a dialect coach, is embedded below and available on Lexi’s blog.