SAN FRANCISCO (CBSLA.com) — An appeals court Wednesday ordered YouTube to remove a controversial anti-Muslim film that officials say sparked violence in the Middle East two years ago.
In 2012, an Egyptian court sentenced the film’s creator, 56-year-old Mark Basseley Youssef, and seven Coptic Christians to death in absentia for making, The Innocence of Muslims, which was filmed here in Southern California.
Youssef, who has gone by several different aliases including Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, served time in prison for probation violations stemming from a 2010 bank fraud conviction. He spoke to CBS2’s Michele Gile last year when he was released from a halfway house to an Orange County pastor.
He insisted his film was anti-terrorism and not anti-Muslim even though Muhammad was depicted as a pedophile and womanizer.
“I would like to apologize for any inconvenience and any misunderstanding,” Youssef said. “What’s in my script, some people are misunderstanding it and they feel something bad in their feelings because they misunderstand what I am talking about.”
The makers of the film obtained a one-day permit to shoot the film at a Los Angeles County ranch last year. FilmLA, which handles the permits, says the movie was listed as “Desert Warriors” at the time, according to the Associated Press.
The deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were initially blamed on fallout from the film.