Sen. Portantino asks Americana to allow rejected advertisement for genocide documentary

After the Americana at Brand rejected billboard space for a film about genocide, state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has joined a local Armenian group in asking mall officials to reverse their decision.

Last week, the Glendale chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America requested that the Americana reconsider its denial of billboard space for “Architects of Denial,” a documentary that examines genocides, including the Armenian Genocide, through survivor accounts.

In a statement on Thursday, Portantino said he supported the committee’s request.

“I thought to myself that Hollywood has long-celebrated thought-provoking and hard-edged filmmaking that stimulates conversations about historical events,” Portantino said. “It seems like labeling art as ‘too political’ was an odd reason to deny the appropriate free expression of a historical documentary.”

Portantino added that he hopes his letter will highlight California’s leadership in genocide recognition and its importance to Armenian Americans.

“The example set by the State of California should be an inspiration for our corporate partners to follow,” he said.

Jackie Levy — executive vice president of operations for Caruso, which owns and operates the Americana — invited the film’s producers to discuss further the proposed film advertisement.

jeff.landa@latimes.com

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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