(Updated at 11.06 a.m. PT).
MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd spoke out about the mass shooting at the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.
“We are shocked and saddened by the horrific terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo that occurred today,” Senator Dodd said in a statement.
A terror attack by what appears to be Islamic radicals killed at least 12 people at the offices in central Paris. Another 11 people were injured, four of them seriously.
“Our industry has experienced firsthand cowardly attempts at the destruction of freedom of speech,” he continued. “And we offer our expression of support to the victims and their families, as well as the French people.”
Dodd’s words echoed President Barack Obama’s statement issued that morning. “For us to see the kind of cowardly, evil attacks that took place today I think reinforces once again why it’s so important for us to stand in solidarity with them just as they stand in solidarity with us,” the president said from the Oval Office earlier on Wednesday.
A manhunt is underway for the gunmen, who are still at large in Paris.
UPDATE 11:06 AM:
Writers Guild of America, West President Chris Keyser has issued the following statement:
“Today, as a Guild, we reaffirm our belief in the free and open expression of ideas and in the pact all of us must make with each other, not to agree, but to be tolerant of that with which we disagree,” said Keyser.
“We stand with those, wherever they are, who write and speak their minds, which is a brave and necessary thing to do. And we hope for ourselves and wish for others the resolve never to be silenced by fear.”
UPDATE 4:59 PM:
SAG-AFTRA released a statement on the attack:
“SAG-AFTRA offers its condolences to families of the French journalists and police killed in the attack at Charlie Hebdo. Our thoughts are with all French citizens affected by this despicable act of terrorism.
Journalists know that their jobs carry risks, but these brazen killings were particularly shocking in that these journalists were not operating in an overseas combat zone, but were at work in their own offices in a democratic nation.
The right to free speech is not only enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, we believe it is a universal human right, and we oppose all those who seek to squelch free expression.
Today, SAG-AFTRA stands with the French people and the worldwide journalism community. Our hearts are with you.”
UPDATE 7:58 pm
The DGA issued the following statement regarding the Charlie Hebdo attack:
“The Directors Guild of America stands in solidarity with the families of the victims, the people of France and citizens around the world who will not be cowed by extremists seeking to undermine our inalienable right to the free and open expression of ideas. This despicable act will not silence the millions of journalists, artists and filmmakers who will continue to speak their mind, share their ideas and promote freedom of speech.”