Next Week: Panel on Decoding the Military-Entertainment Complex


If you’re an educator, it’s a good bet that most of your students have spent hours upon hours perched in front of screens watching blockbuster military and war-themed movies like Top Gun: Maverick. It’s also a good bet that they, like most Americans, know next to nothing about the direct role the Pentagon and CIA have played in the making and shaping of many of these movies. But does all of that military machinery on screen come with strings attached? Does the military actually get a crack at the script? Should Hollywood help promote the military’s agenda by systematically scrubbing its films of war crimes, corruption, racism, sexual assault, coups, assassinations, and torture? And should the Pentagon be legally obliged to let the public know when they’ve been involved in a film?

In this special event, co-sponsored by Project Censored and the Media Education Foundation, we seek to answer those questions and more. We will be hosting a watch-on-your-own virtual screening of Roger Stahl’s explosive new documentary Theaters of War: How the Pentagon & CIA Took Hollywood. On March 5th at 7 pm EST / 4 pm PST, we will host a panel discussion featuring Stahl and leading media scholars and journalists, followed by a live Q&A. This thought-provoking discussion promises a deep dive into the intimate relationship between the military-industrial complex and the film industry.

Register to watch Theaters of War for free from February 27th – March 6th.

Join us for this important event and be part of the discussion!

Our panel will include:

Mnar Adley
Award-winning journalist; Founder and Director of MintPress News

Mnar Adley is a Palestinian-American journalist; founder, director, and editor-in-chief of MintPress News; and president of the nonprofit organization Behind the Headlines.

Robin Andersen 
Professor Emerita and Former Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University

Robin Andersen is Professor Emerita of Media Studies at Fordham University, and an award-winning author, writer and media commentator. She writes for Project Censored, FAIR, and CounterPunch, and is an opinion columnist for Al Jazeera. She currently edits the Routledge Focus Book Series on Media and Humanitarian Action. Her forthcoming co-edited book, Censorship, Digital Media and the Global Crackdown on Freedom of Expression, is published by Peter Lang.

Fatooma Saad
PhD Student in the Department of Communication at Wayne State University

Fatooma Saad is a doctoral student with Wayne State University’s Department of Communication. She holds a master’s degree in communication and is a Defense Information School-trained veteran with experience in military communication and public affairs strategies. Her recent research has sought to highlight the experiences and barriers to retention among active-duty military mothers. Additionally, she has recently leaned on her own experiences in the military to shed light on the expansive yet often ignored relationship between the Department of Defense and Hollywood filmmakers and their goal of shaping military narratives in pop culture. Her research often centers around the belief that the military, which boasts the largest share of the U.S. budget, should be accessible and relatable to the average non-serving citizen.

Roger Stahl
Filmmaker, Theaters of War; and Professor of Communication Studies, University of Georgia

Roger Stahl is Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia. He has spent much of his career studying propaganda and PR as it relates to selling military interventions. He has written extensively about how the entertainment industries play a role in this process, what some have called the “military-entertainment complex.” In addition to documentaries on the subject, his books include Militainment, Inc. and Through the Crosshairs: War, Visual Culture, and the Weaponized Gaze.

Mickey Huff (discussion moderator)
Director, Project Censored; President, Media Freedom Foundation

Mickey Huff is director of Project Censored and president of the nonprofit Media Freedom Foundation. He is an author, editor, publisher, radio host/producer of The Project Censored Show; and professor of social science, history, and journalism at Diablo Valley College, where he chairs the Journalism Department. His most recent books as co-editor or co-author include Project Censored’s State of the Free Press 2024; and The Media and Me: A Guide To Critical Media Literacy For Young People (2022).