Defamation case pivots on the differences between Gollum and his alter ego Smeagol
Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson has contributed to an unusual Turkish court case that revolves around Gollum and his affable alter ego Smeagol.
A doctor called Bilgin Ciftci is accused of insulting the country’s President, Recep Tayyip, in a series of meme-like social media posts which seemingly compare the politician to Gollum. However, according to Jackson and his LOTR/The Hobbit screenwriting partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, the posts in question actually feature pictures of the altogether friendlier Smeagol.
The director and screenwriters said in a statement to the Turkish court: “If the images [in question] are in fact the ones forming the basis of this Turkish lawsuit, we can state categorically: None of them feature the character known as Gollum. All of them are images of the character called Smeagol.”
Screenwriter Walsh even offered a sort of character assessment of the two fictional creatures, saying: “Smeagol is a joyful, sweet character. Smeagol does not lie, deceive, or attempt to manipulate others. He is not evil, conniving, or malicious – these personality traits belong to Gollum, who should never be confused with Smeagol. Smeagol would never dream of wielding power over those weaker than himself. He is not a bully. In fact he’s very loveable. This is why audiences all over the world have warmed to his character.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, the defence’s lawyer is now calling for a team of film experts and psychologists to assess the characters of Gollum and Smeagol too. The trial is due to resume in February.