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.
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.
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.