That’s Justin Peters, writing over at Slate the other day about Julia Lipnitskaia’s routine at the Sochi Olympics in which she wore a red costume and skated to the theme from Schindler’s List.
A number of people have asked about my level of outrage and the answer is that it’s pretty low. Lipnitskaia certainly isn’t the first person to skate to music from Schindler’s List and I’m certain she won’t be the last.
Do I think we need a whole lot more of this sort of thing? I don’t. But, then, I also won’t watch a single minute of ice skating or ice dancing or whatever at this year’s Olympics or at any other. I don’t find it exciting or moving or even interesting.
But a whole lot of people do.
And some of those people will likely find themselves very interested, moved, or excited about Lipnitskaia’s performance. And maybe some of them will even watch the film or read the book for the first time. And then perhaps they’ll find themselves learning about and caring about the victims of the Holocaust.
Is that Lipnitskaia’s intention? Probably not. But neither is it her intention to offend. Surely some people will be offended, in no small part because some people will always be offended; indeed, some people will likely be offended by this blog post. But it isn’t clear, at least to me, exactly what’s offensive about adapting a scene from Schindler’s List for an ice skating program. And, more importantly, it’s also the case that people who didn’t know much about Schindler’s List might decide to learn a little bit about it or about the Holocaust as a result of both the competition itself and the online discussion it prompted.
And that’s something.