IRVINE (CBS) — A Bakersfield actress who stars in the “Innocence of Muslims”, a low-budget effort that depicts Islamic prophet Muhammad in a negative light, says she’s horrified the film is sparking protests across Libya.
The deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were initially blamed on fallout from the film, which was made in California last year.
Cindy, a part-time pastor, says she responded to a casting call for a role in a movie she thought was about life in Egypt 2,000 years ago.
She says she had no idea the film depicted Muhammad as a child molester and thug and that the script she was given was even titled, “Desert Warriors”, not “Innocence of Muslims”.
Cindy says nothing could have prepared her for a clip of the film she saw on YouTube.
“It’s just turned into a nightmare,” she told CBS2. “Who would have known that it would turn out this way?”
She immediately called the director, a man who goes by the name of Sam Bacile, who claimed to be a real estate developer in Los Angeles.
“I said, ‘Why did you do this to us, Sam?’ I said, ‘You put us out there,’ and he said, ‘No.’ He says, ‘This isn’t your fault.’ He said, ‘You tell the world that I did this, that I wrote the script.’ He goes, ‘I’m tired of radical Muslims killing people.'”
Cindy, who says any anti-Muslim rhetoric was added to the film after production, says she plans to sue.
As the controversial film continues to incite riots across Libya and Egypt, local residents like Dr. Tarek Tumiya are also speaking out about the film.
Tumiya, a Libyan Muslim-American once imprisoned and tortured by Muammar Gaddafi, volunteered to help the wounded during the Libyan uprising.
As a young man, he survived torture and imprisonment only to see, in his words, a hate-filled YouTube video give Gaddafi’s terror cells an excuse for violence.
“It made everything worse,” he said.
U.S. officials believe the attackers who stormed the embassy on Tuesday made have had terrorist links and were not solely part of a mob demonstrating against the film.
Meanwhile, authorities across the Southland are beefing up security at locations that may have ties to the film.