ANCA Glendale to Announce Boycott of Americana at Brand

It was a full house at the Glendale City Council on Tuesday when residents gathered to protest the ban of a Genocide documentary advertisement at Americana
It was a full house at the Glendale City Council on Tuesday when residents gathered to protest the ban of a Genocide documentary advertisement at Americana

It was a full house at the Glendale City Council on Tuesday when residents gathered to protest the ban of a Genocide documentary advertisement at Americana

Dean Cain, Community Organizations and Leaders to Join ANCA – Glendale Announcement of Americana At Brand Boycott

GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale Chapter will hold a press conference on Thursday to announce an official boycott of the Americana at Brand and Caruso Affiliated, stemming from Caruso Affiliated’s utter lack of sensitivity toward the Armenian-American community and its decision to reject billboard space to an Armenian Genocide documentary, “Architects of Denial” calling it “too political.”

Caruso Affliated is claiming that the advertisement would violate its “guideline principle,” which is to “ensure that everyone in the community feels welcome.” and Mr. Caruso’s unwillingness to immediately meet with ANCA Glendale to rectify the situation.

Actor Dean Cain, an executive producer of the film, the Armenian Youth Federation, Glendale Chapter, the Armenian Bar Association and other community organizations and leaders will Join ANCA-Glendale in making that announcement on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Americana’s “On the Green” park.

Members of the Glendale City Council listen to oral arguments against the ban of a billboard in Americana

Members of the Glendale City Council listen to oral arguments against the ban of a billboard in Americana

The Americana at Brand rejected billboard space to an Armenian Genocide film calling it “too political.” The documentary, “Architects of Denial” aims to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide and human rights violations happening today around the world.

On August 4 and August 8, ANCA Glendale submitted letters to The Americana at Brand and Caruso Affiliated requesting an immediate meeting and action to rectify this situation.

On August 9, ANCA Glendale launched a letter and call in campaign to Americana at Brand and Caruso Affiliated. The action alert has resulted in more than 10,000 emails and phone calls to the management from residents, business owners and customers of the establishment, calling for immediate action.

On August 14, 2017, The Americana at Brand responded to the August 8 ANCA Glendale with an attachment of a letter sent to Richard Casares the Executive Vice President of Associated Television, the company that is the outdoor advertising buyer for the “Architects of Denial.”

In its letter to Casares, Caruso affiliate officially rejected the advertisement space, claiming that the advertisement would violate their “guideline principle,” which is to “ensure that everyone in the community feels welcome.”

The letter blatantly states that they have received comments from “the Turkish Consulate” in regards to the billboard, confirming that a business organization in the city of Glendale has now joined Turkey’s genocide denial campaign and is basing its advertising policy on the desires of a foreign, fascist, dictatorial state with one of the world’s worst records of human rights violations.

Yesterday, August 15, 2017, Executive Producers of “Architects of Denial” Montel Williams and Dean Cain released a statement noting “The seriousness of this issue cannot and should not be understated. This is no longer about our movie or an advertisement. This is about vindicating the dignity of the victims and the survivors of genocide.”

The same evening, dozens of community leaders and members, including ANCA Glendale Chair Artin Manoukian and State Senator Anthony Portantino took to the Glendale City Council to provide powerful testimonies and ask the city to take immediate action in resolving the matter. The Councilmembers ended the oral communication section by condemning Caruso Affiliated’s decision and agendizing the matter for the next city council meeting.

I his remarks, Senator Portantino said that Americana should reconsider its decision and allow the ad for “Architects of Denial” to be featured at the shopping center—a point he made in a letter to Caruse Affiliated days before.

City Councilmember Vrej Aghajanian stated that the city should revisit its contract with Caruso Affiliated.

City Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan said that the steps taken by the Americana were a direct result of a ill-conceived policy. “I can’t believe that this is taking place in our city.”

Glendale Mayor Vartan Gharpetian said that he was insulted by the actions of Caruso Affiliated and believes that people’s rights have been trampled upon, pledging that the city will review its contract with the company running the Americana.

WATCH TUESDAY’S GLENDALE CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION 

The Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.

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5 Comments

  1. Diran Papazian said:

    Enough is enough, what has the Turkish consulate interferes on decisions for an advertisement,
    Who gives them to talk about political matters inside our country, let them take care of their countries
    human rights problems. The city of Glendale should decide what advertise or not in his city and what is right
    for the Americans to decide, not the Turks.

  2. Papken Hartunian said:

    This could be another reminder that only in your homeland you have right to speak up about your national issues. We must remember that whatever we build on foreign land eventually will belong to foreigners. There is no future for Armenians even in Glendale!
    If you care about your future generations to be called Armenian, then you should start from to day to build your future in Armenia, no matter what problems you would face. United, we are capable to build a super Armenia today. Then, and only then we would not need mercy of people such as American!

  3. Rob said:

    While there were impassioned, most arguments made during the meeting were just emotional in nature and not logical. The Americana does not want to get involved because it does not want to set a precedence where hot topics and/or political topics are discussed. It is a place to unwind, dine and shop. This is a slippery slope for them because if they except this what about if Turkey made a movie about how the Armenian Genocide is a myth and they wanted to put a billboard advertising that movie? Are they supposed to say no to that when they said yes to this particular incident? Would all of the impassioned arguments we heard in the meeting about free speech, censorship still be made by the same speakers? What if it the subject matter is about illegal immigration and how all illegal immigrants should go back? Would Universal, Disneyland, Downtown Disney or Irvine Spectrum allow this? There is a stick point because the park at Americana is public. Unless contracts say other wise, that should be open for debate. But if its open then will the community be open to a debate on all things while they are trying to eat dinner? The Americana handled this very poorly but there is a reason why they did it. They dont want a place with heated conversations that will ultimately turn away customers. Just imagine going to Disneyland and someone with a bullhorn is arguing about abortion. This has nothing to do with anti Armenianism, denial of genocide, or racism.

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