Spielberg Ends Olympic Ties, Citing Darfur Crisis (Updated)

After months of pressure from human rights groups, Steven Spielberg has decided to withdraw from his role organizing the Olympics opening ceremony. From Bloomberg:

Director Steven Spielberg cut his ties with the Beijing Olympic games, saying China hasn’t done enough to help end ethnic conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Spielberg stepped down as an artistic adviser for the games’ opening and closing ceremonies, he said in a statement. He had left his contract unsigned for a year because of concern over China’s failure to press for change in the African country, according to the statement.

Spielberg, director of films including “Munich” and “Saving Private Ryan,” said he will use time that would have been spent on the Olympics to seek an end to the conflict.

Read more about China’s role in Darfur, via CDT.

UPDATE: See also some follow-up on this story: Olympics-China says Darfur-Olympics link “unreasonable” from Reuters; Big trouble for Olympic China? from The Guardian blog; and Analysis: China has no answer to Spielberg snub