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Premiere of 'The Undefeated' sets stage for new round of Sarah Palin vs. Hollywood

June 29, 2011 |  7:36 am


Last fall, Hollywood was pulled into the Sarah Palin media frenzy when "The Social Network" writer Aaron Sorkin took some shots at Palin in a news interview and also called her a "witless bully" for her hunting exploits on the Learning Channel. Last night Hollywood and Palin again intersected when the former vice presidential candidate called out celebrities for the "hate" they've directed toward her.

The one-time Alaska governor was on hand for a premiere of Stephen Bannon's pro-Palin documentary "The Undefeated" in Iowa on Tuesday night. The movie's opening showed a montage of celebrities -- many of them comedians, including Louis C.K., Bill Maher and David Letterman -- making expletive-laden jokes about her, drawing apparent jeering from the crowd watching the movie. After the screening, Palin sounded a bemused note to the Hollywood Reporter.

“It makes you want to reach out to some of these folks and say, ‘What’s your problem?’ ” Palin told the paper. “What would make a celebrity, like you saw on screen, so hate someone that they’d seek their destruction, their death, the death of their children? What would make someone be so full of hate?” None of those cited in the documentary have responded as yet, though given the history of the Palin-Hollywood sparring, it likely won't be very long before some do.

The premiere otherwise had the feel of a rally, according to several reports, with pro-Palin and anti-Obama T-shirts and signs mixed in amid the crowd, and conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart taking the stage, along with Palin, after the screening. The event, which took place in the small town of Pella and featured a post-screening barbecue, was held in Iowa on the same day that both President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann visited the caucus state.

According to reports from the screening, the movie follows Palin's upbringing and Alaska governorship before the third act moves to her vice-presidential run. The movie will open in an unconventional distribution arrangement, bypassing traditional distributors to be shown in AMC Theaters. The film will open July 15 in a number of markets, including Orange County, Denver and Houston, according to a statement from AMC. Los Angeles is not mentioned as a target market.


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-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Sarah Palin at the post-screening barbecue in Pella, Iowa. Credit: Andrea Melendez / Associated Press