The Armenian Genocide is one of the least talked about yet one of the most tragic periods in history. The calculated slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians, mostly Christian, by the Ottoman Empire during World War I is an event not officially acknowledged by the Turkish government (the modern-day state of the Ottoman Empire) — or by many in our own government.
It’s an event that today is discussed more than in the past, thanks to the efforts of certain people with public platforms. One of those people is “Lois & Clark” actor Dean Cain, who stars in and helped produce the documentary “Architects of Denial,” a film examining the phenomenon of the official denials by public figures of a terrible event that should never be forgotten.
Cain talked with LifeZette about the film.
Question: 'The Promise,' which was also about the Armenian genocide, was met with a lot of controversy and backlash. What do you expect the short-term and long-term responses to be to this film?
Answer: I hope that "Architects of Denial" educates people about a very disturbing event that unquestionably took place, just after the turn of the 20th century. It was the first genocide in the 20th century, and millions were killed — including 1.5 million Armenians, 900,000 Greeks, and 750,000 Assyrians. It was a horrible tragedy that has been denied and covered up for over 100 years.
That denial and covering up allows genocides to continue to this very day — in places like Syria, Iraq, and Sudan. In fact, when Adolf Hitler spoke about his "Final Solution," he said, "After all, who remembers the Armenians?"
We are also very hopeful — and both Montel [Williams, another producer of the documentary] and I spent time on Capitol Hill in October — that we can get [House Res. 220] passed by the U.S. Congress. [We want to] finally have the United States recognize the Armenian Genocide for what it was, a genocide, and recognize that Christians today are one of the most persecuted groups in the world.
Q: Are you hopeful the Turkish government will begin to acknowledge the Armenian genocide in the near future?
A: I am not very optimistic that the Turkish government will recognize [this genocide any time soon]. Many, many Turkish citizens already recognize the Armenian Genocide for what it was, but Turkish citizens are not allowed to call it a genocide — [that is] punishable by arrest and jail time or worse inside Turkey.
The current government, led by the authoritarian Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, seems to be headed in the opposite direction — and the relationship between the United States and Turkey and even NATO is suffering as a result.
Q: How did you come to be involved with this movie?
A: I became involved in "Architects of Denial" through a number of Armenian friends who asked me if I knew anything about the Armenian Genocide. I was embarrassed I did not know much. My Armenian producer friend said, "I thought you were a history major — from Princeton!" That was the jumping-off point for me. I went to a march on April 24, about 10 years ago in Los Angeles, that commemorates the start of the Armenian Genocide [April 24, 1915] — and I learned an awful lot that day, and in the days since.
Montel Williams and I executive-produced this film after traveling the world together doing charity work. Montel and I don't agree on everything politically, but we definitely agree on this: Genocide is wrong, and it needs to be stopped.
Q: What other projects are you working on right now that fans can anticipate?
A: I'm currently involved in a large number of projects. I'm writing and producing several feature films, including "Escape to Shanghai (The Violin)" and "Little Devils," hosting "Masters of Illusion" on the CW [four seasons], starring in "Hit the Floor" on BET, and guest-hosting "The Today Show" and "Fox & Friends Weekend." I'm also starring in several feature films, including the soon-to-be-released "Gosnell" [the story of Kermit Gosnell], and recurring on "Supergirl" as her foster father.
Q: A recent movie of yours that's gained a bit of a cult following is the prison-based action movie "Vendetta," directed by the Soska twins. Any chance that you would re-team with them, or do a sequel?
A: I would love to work with the Soska twins again. They are extremely talented and amazing to work with! "Vendetta" needs a sequel!
"Architects of Denial" can be found on video on demand services now.
Last Modified: November 6, 2017, 8:33 am