Blood Diamond's ProstheticLimbGate is growing only uglier and more limbless: As you may recall, the controversy started with an item in Monday's Page Six in which the producers of the African diamond trade movie were accused of having callously failed to follow through with promises of artificial arms and legs for the film's cast of young amputee extras, a claim director Ed Zwick angrily refuted to LA Weekly's Nikki Finke yesterday, calling the smear "the work of someone who clearly bears the film ill will." Whomever this shadowy "someone" is—our minds run wild imagining a Bond-villain-type named De Beers with one eye and jagged, princess-cut diamonds for teeth—he appears to be at it again, as Page Six follows up today with yet another highly unflattering report. This time, however, they claim that in addition to failing to help pre-existing amputees, the Blood Diamond production was also managing to create all new ones:
While Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connolly and Djimon Hounsou were shooting the movie - which depicts the horrors of the 1990s Sierra Leone civil war over control of lucrative diamond mines - special-effects man Edward Visage lost his hand while handling an explosive device called a squib.
One source on the set in South Africa told Page Six, "Warner Bros. was too cheap to bring in a special-effects guy from the U.S. They used a local guy, and there was an accident and the guy lost his hand. It's ironic because they also brought in orphans for extras who had lost their limbs from machete-wielding rebel soldiers in the war - and this guy lost a hand on set."
Despite Page Six's best attempts to stir up further stump-related trouble, they do concede that Visage received excellent medical care, a prosthetic hand and compensation (what's the going rate for Sierra Leone crew unions again?), a clear indication that the makers of Blood Diamond have demonstrated that their intentions are honorable. That's more than we can say for that other production employing "exotic amputees"—Pirates of the Caribbean 3—whose cattle-called cast of imaginatively severed extras will be lucky to go home with so much as a hot lunch of catered Pollo Loco in their stomachs, much less the latest in prosthetic technology advancements.
- 'DIAMOND' DRAWS REAL BLOOD [NY Post]