By Situation Theatre 24/11/2015
He’s an Australian legend. He’s a triple threat. He’s the Boy from Oz. He’s Wolverine for god’s sake. Now in a surprising twist, TMZ is reporting that Hugh Jackman has been convicted of terrorist charges for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in the film Les Misérables. With dual citizenship of Australia and the US, the middle-aged heartthrob is subject to the nation's new citizenship laws and can no longer call himself Australian.
Jackman can count himself unlucky. He’s a victim of a last minute amendment to the legislation which states citizenship must be stripped “in all cases of terrorist activities, whether real or fictional”. Section 100.1 of the Criminal Code defines a terrorist act as one which advances a political, religious or ideological cause, coerces or influences the government or public by intimidation and causes physical harm, endangers life or creates a risk to public safety. It’s pretty clear from his pot-shots on the barricades during the French Revolution that Jean Valjean is guilty of terrorist acts.
While Labor MP Melissa Parke broke ranks before the vote and said “In my view the bill remains contrary to the rule of law and the principles of natural justice and as such should not be passed by parliament”, the rest of Labor waved it through, saying they didn’t much like the recent film version of Les Misérables anyway. Bill Shorten had this to say: “I don’t really mind if Australia becomes a fascist state, as long as the appropriate safeguards are in place.”
Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton was challenged with claims the ruling is unfair because Hugh Jackman is not technically the same person as Jean Valjean, the fictional character created by Victor Hugo in 1862.
He responded: “I don’t care. We face a heightened and complex security environment. When the world changes you have to respond by ensuring community safety against all threats. Whether the threat is real or a 19th century literary invention is irrelevant to our desperate attempt to lift sinking poll numbers.”
Dutton later confirmed that his favourite Les Misérables character is indeed Javert.