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The Amanpour Hour

Genocide VS Self-Defense: The Case Against Israel; Interview With Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); Israel Strikes On Gaza Hospitals; Interview With Professor Scott Galloway; Interview With America Ferrera; Breakthrough In The Balkans. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired January 13, 2024 - 11:00   ET



CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: Kara, wrap us up.

KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST, "PIVOT": I think the Apple Vision Pro, which is about to be sold to the public, it goes on sale February 2nd, I think. And it comes out -- it's is going to be really interesting and is a big shift in computing paradigm. And I'm going to get one and I'm going to wear it here on set.

WALLACE: But not with a Stanley Cup.

SWISHER: Not with a Stanley Cup.

WALLACE: Is it -- as revolutionary as the iPhone?

SWISHER: It's different. It's going to change the way we work and use entertainment. And it's just the first step toward heads-up computing.

WALLACE: I must say the videos are really interesting.

SWISHER: They're astonishing. Would you like a demo? I can get you one.

WALLACE: I would love it.

SWISHER: All right, then.

WALLACE: Thank you all for being here. Fascinating as always.

Thank you for spending part of your day with us. And we'll see you right back here next week.


Here is where we're headed this week.


AMANPOUR: Fresh off his trip to the Middle East I ask Senator Chris Van Hollen about the Israel genocide case and why America isn't doing more to stop the carnage in Gaza. Then, as awards season kicks into high gear, America Ferrera, star of

that Barbie speech discusses an unforgettable moment.

AMERICA FERRERA, ACTOR: I do feel like the message is deeply universal.

AMANPOUR: And Scott Galloway on the statistical certainty that something will stick to Trump in his many criminal trials, and what scares him most about A.I.

SCOTT GALLOWAY, NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: There's nothing more dangerous than a young, broke, and lonely man.

AMANPOUR: Finally from my archive, the moment peacekeeping U.S. Marines rolled into Kosovo in the late 90s to stop ethnic cleansing.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour.

Hearings began this week at the International Court of Justice in the case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza.

Now the world faces an extraordinary possibility -- the international law against genocide that was created after the Holocaust could be applied for the very first time against Israel itself.

In response, Israel argues it's acting in self-defense after the horrors of October 7th and the slaughter of its civilians by Hamas. At the heart of South Africa's case is a litany of rhetoric from officials in Benjamin Netanyahu's government. Here's South Africa's senior counsel speaking in court on Thursday.

TEMBEKA NGCUKAITOBI, SOUTH AFRICA SENIOR COUNSEL: Israel's political leaders, military commanders, and persons holding official positions have systematically and in explicit terms declared their genocidal intent. And these statements are then repeated by soldiers on the ground in Gaza. As they engage in the destruction of Palestinians and the physical infrastructure of Gaza.


AMANPOUR: Now Israel has sent one of its most distinguished lawyers to defend this case. speaking in Tel Aviv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the case "meritless". Meantime, the war on Gaza still threatens to drag in the rest of the region.

The Biden administration's strong support for Israel divides his party on this particular issue heading into an election that Biden himself calls an existential choice for American democracy.

Senator Chris Van Hollen is pushing back against the White House proposing an amendment that would put conditions on American aid to Israel, and he's joining me now from Washington.

Welcome back to our program, Senator. So firstly, can I ask you, do you, like the State Department, believe that this case is meritless?

SENATOR CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Christian, it's good to be with you. I agree with the State Department's point that Hamas initiated this war and that Hamas engaged in the atrocities on October 7th with the intent of destroying Israel.

As to the South African claims, I am following the case closely. It is true that many Israeli government officials have made really outrageous statements about collective punishment, about equating all Palestinians with Hamas.

But there's a long way to go between those individual statements and attributing that intent to the government of Israel. So I'll be watching it closely. For now I'm focused on the other questions that you just mentioned.

AMANPOUR: And just to read one -- you say, you know, the government of Israel, but you know, there's a deputy speaker of their parliament, the Knesset who said, now we all have one common goal -- erasing the Gaza Strip from the face of the earth." That's pretty conclusive language.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, there have been absolutely outrageous statements by numerous Israeli politicians calling this Nakba 2. Many talking about forced displacement of Palestinians outside of Gaza, equating every Palestinian with Hamas.


VAN HOLLEN: But again, there's a difference between citing individual members -- I mean, members of Congress sometimes make outrageous statements, so a distinction between that and the actions of the government of Israel and the intent of the government of Israel. I assume that will be a lot of what the case is about and what judges will look at.

AMANPOUR: So let me ask you because you represent the United States. You've just come from the region. The U.S. is Israel's closest ally. But clearly it's causing ructions (ph) as I mentioned for the Biden administration even within his own party, the Democrats, your own party.

Do you believe the administration has enough leverage because it keeps ending the Secretary of State and other officials to try to rein-in the Israeli counteroffensive, to stop the carpet-bombing and to be more targeted to avoid the mass killings in Gaza.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, Christian I do believe that the Biden administration could exercise U.S. leverage more effectively. They have succeeded in getting the Netanyahu government to make some very small changes in their conduct, but not nearly enough to achieve Secretary Blinken's goal and President Biden's goal of dramatically reducing the number of civilian casualties. We're now up to over 22,000 people dead, two- thirds of them women and children.

And not enough leverage to get the kind of humanitarian assistance into Gaza that's needed to address a desperate situation that's getting worse. So I believe the Biden administration could and should be using more effective use of its leverage, of American leverage, to accomplish our objectives.

AMANPOUR: so can I just read a couple of things? I want to ask you about the amendment that you're proposing. First of all, Senator Bernie Sanders wants to introduce a question, you know, for the State Department as to whether, you know, they accept to be asked how U.S. weapons are being used.

One congressman says it also must be clear that America will not write a blank check for mass displacement. You had mentioned that mass displacement. And you yourself are calling for an amendment toward aid. What do you want to put on the table?

VAN HOLLEN: So the proposal that I've advanced, and it's supported by about 14 members of my senate colleagues and growing, is an amendment that would apply to all of the recipients of U.S. military assistance in the supplemental bill that President Biden put forward.

So it would apply to Ukraine, it would apply to Israel, it would apply to any other country. There are three main points in that, Christiane. One is every recipient of U.S. military assistance must comply with international humanitarian law. And we must get that commitment from them in advance before we provide any military assistance.

Two, those countries have to fully cooperate with U.S. efforts to provide humanitarian assistance in an area where U.S. weapons are used. So Gaza would be covered, so would Ukraine.

And then there's a reporting requirement, insisting that the Biden administration provide us with information so we can determine whether or not the first two requirements have, in fact, been met with respect to all these countries.

So in my view it's a very common-sense provision. We should require more accountability of all U.S. Recipients of military aid.

AMANPOUR: You say we should be, but as you know yourself, it's the first time really in a serious way this is being proposed, especially to your really stalwart ally Israel.

And I want to ask you about humanitarian aid because that's also creating huge ructions in the Middle East and desperate, desperate suffering inside Gaza. You were on the border there Rafah, the Egyptian border to Gaza. What did you see about the delivery of aid, humanitarian aid, for the people?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, Senator Jeff Merkley and I went very recently to the Rafah border crossing to see for ourselves what was happening. And clearly the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is atrocious and getting worse.

Two main takeaways. One, it's very difficult to deliver humanitarian aid within Gaza to the people who need it when the (INAUDIBLE) authorities, the Israeli authorities are not providing any kind of clear deconfliction rules, right. Making sure that aid workers don't get killed by bombs or by other munitions while delivering assistance.

And all the international organizations we talked to who have been involved in conflicts everywhere in the world for decades say they've never seen a more broken, ineffective, inadequate deconfliction process, which is why you continue to see areas declared safe zones being later hit.


VAN HOLLEN: Second, the effort and the -- the obstacles that people have to go over to get goods into Gaza is way cumbersome.

And if you look at the Israeli inspection proceedings, for example, we visited a warehouse, Christiane, that was full of items that were rejected. I'm talking about health kits for the delivery of babies. I'm talking about water filtration systems. I'm talking about water quality testing systems.

These were rejected by the Israeli screening authorities. And when they say one item has to be rejected off the truck, they send the entire truck back. And these trucks sometimes wait up to 20 days to get in.

AMANPOUR: Senator, the fear of the wider war in the Middle East, again, you've just come back from there, Secretary of State has been doing massive shuttle diplomacy. What is your feeling about the status at the moment?

VAN HOLLEN: From the very beginning of this conflict we've all been worried about escalation, of a wider war. That is why president Biden sent two aircraft carriers to the region to deter Hezbollah from getting in, to deter the Iranians.

So I think we have to be constantly on the watch and urging all the parties in the region to make sure that they don't take unnecessary, escalatory actions which could take what is already an awful situation and blow it up even more.

AMANPOUR: On the issue of Ukraine which the United States has supported so incredibly along with NATO allies for nearly two years now, there are some really dire stories coming out from the Ukrainian battlefield about how they're running out of just about everything they need.

What is it going to take? Is there any compromise you can see, you're a senator, on what the Republicans are calling for -- some, you know, breakthrough on the -- you know, the border, the whole immigration picture?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, we have to get additional military assistance to our Ukrainian partners. Otherwise Putin will be able to say to the world that the United States and Ukraine's friends abandoned them.

And of course, that will not only be disastrous for the people of Ukraine, but send an awful signal to both friend and foe alike in other parts of the world including President Xi. So we will see. But bottom line is the United States people cannot

abandon the people of Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: On that note, Senator Van Hollen, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.

And coming up later on the program --


FERRERA: Where are we going?




AMANPOUR: I talk Barbie mania and Oscar controversy with movie star America Ferrera.

Also ahead, what Scott Galloway fears most about artificial intelligence.

But first, a CNN investigation reveals the fallout of Israeli strikes on Gaza's hospitals. That's next.



AMANPOUR: Now among Israel's actions that draw the most criticism is the targeting of hospitals and other vital medical facilities in Gaza. There have been more than 300 such attacks so far according to the World Health Organization all but destroying the entire health system there while Israel says it's targeting terrorists hiding behind these civilian shields.

But in a forensic months' long investigation, CNN Katie Polglase explores whether the ends can really justify the means.


KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER: Inside an ambulance at al- Awda hospital in northern Gaza on November 9th; nearby at the Indonesian hospital the same night, sheer panic.

The first two months of war decimated Gaza's health care system as Israel launched an air then land offensive on the north of the Strip.

Out of 22 hospitals in northern Gaza, CNN has identified 20 that have been damaged or destroyed between October 7th and December 7th.

Imagery analyzed by CNN shows over half have been directly attacked. Several including the two largest in Gaza, al-Shifa and al-Quds, were attacked by Israel Defense Forces this evidence suggests. At al-Ahli hospital CNN previously found evidence a misfired rocket

from Gaza was likely responsible for a deadly blast. But this appears to be the exception.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's called the Qatari hospital.

POLGLASE: Israel and U.S. intelligence say Hamas used many of these hospitals as command-and-control centers, a claim Hamas denies. While protected under international humanitarian law, a hospital's protection during war is not absolute.

CRAIG JONES, AUTHOR, "THE WAR LAWYERS": There are instances where those protections can be lost, and that is for such time as they are being used for military activities to sort of further the activities of an enemy. That does not give carte blanche for militaries to launch an attack however they want.

POLGLASE: This is al-Quds, Gaza's second largest hospital. We modeled out how weeks of Israeli attacks around it caused severe damage and civilian harm.

Behind the hospital on October 29th an explosion has just hit. The director spoke to CNN that day saying there was bombing all around us.


POLGLASE: On November 7th, the IDF published a video of them conducting a strike just 100 meters from the hospital entrance. Here they claim they were targeting a Hamas weapons depot. The strike appears to have taken place on November 5th.

This video from the ground shows people being stretched away from the scene and into the hospital. But inside already looked like this after days of strikes nearby. The IDF say they repeatedly told people to evacuate. Medical staff inside at the time said this is just not possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have thousands of civilian people in the hospital. How? How to convince them to go outside? Where? Where to go?

POLGLASE: The IDF legal adviser told CNN they did not attack al-Quds hospital except in mid-November when apparently returning fire from Hamas militants, releasing this footage as evidence, 21 people were killed. The IDF said they were terrorists but acknowledge civilians were still inside.

Over at al-Shifa hospital, displaced civilians were sheltering in the courtyard where aerial attacks were intensifying. An IDF legal adviser again told CNN they did not attack al Shifa. The weapons experts told CNN this is a remnant of an Israeli illumination shell.

A couple of hours later and the maternity ward is hit. Here part of an Israeli tank missile is found. Within a week, Israeli forces entered the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can see them checking and searching the east part of the hospital.

POLGLASE: Al Shifa was one of the hospitals the IDF and the U.S. say Hamas were operating in. But when troops arrived, they appeared to have found very little evidence of this, publishing these videos of a network of tunnels.

What the IDF videos don't show is what they would have found just meters away. Multiple graves dug by civilians who were forced to bury their loved ones within the hospital grounds amid the continued siege.

The cameraman asks, who is in the grave? My mom, she replies.

Can I just put to you a conversation I had with a legal adviser to the IDF. They said to me at the end of the day as long as Hamas continues to use these hospitals and facilities for their military operations and our aim is to defeat Hamas militarily, there is absolutely no choice but to go there.

JONES: Much of the death and destruction and damage including to hospitals, health care facilities, is known in advance. It's part of the calculation, and that is absolutely a choice. And to frame it not as a choice is to frame that death and destruction as just an inevitability.

POLGLASE: Those first two months of war are now among the most deadly and destructive of any conflict in recent history. The question remains as to whether any military objective can justify this.

Katie Polglase, CNN -- London.


AMANPOUR: CNN sent a full list of the hospitals identified therein as damaged or destroyed to the IDF. And in response, the IDF said they did not conduct any targeted attacks against hospitals in the Gaza strip. They also added that any strike which is expected to incidentally damage hospitals is approved by the highest echelons of command.

Up next on the program, forget the hysteria about machines taking over the human race. Professor Scott Galloway tells me why loneliness is really the biggest threat of A.I.


GALLOWAY: There's nothing more dangerous than a young, broke, and lonely man, and we're producing too many of them in the West.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back. In our "Letter from London" this week, Professor Scott Galloway joined

me in the studio to talk about the mathematic probability that Donald Trump is going to jail, Joe Biden is getting a second term, and what scares him most about artificial intelligence.


AMANPOUR: Scott Galloway, welcome to the program.

GALLOWAY: Great to be here.

AMANPOUR: You have predicted that Biden will be re-elected and Trump will go to jail in 2024. How sure can you be? Why are you saying that?

GALLOWAY: I don't think you can be sure. If you look at the jurisdictions he's been charged in, they have between a 70 percent and 92 percent conviction rate and only a third of people who receive the indictments or the charges that he's received don't end up with prison time.

So even if you were to discount those statistics or cut them in half because it is a different situation, it just seems mathematically improbable that he won't be sentenced to prison at some point.

So it's become a bit of a game show, and that his objective is to slow down the trials until after. But If you look at statistically the likelihood that one of these 93 charges will stick it just feels mathematically likely something is going to stick here.

AMANPOUR: So they say 91, but nonetheless -- you just think --

GALLOWAY: Excuse me.

AMANPOUR: It's ok. And you think these trials, at least one of them, will come to fruition and, you know, sentencing before the election.

GALLOWAY: I think we'll find out in the next couple of months. Yes.

AMANPOUR: And the American people have said basically that even though he's the frontrunner right now for the Republican nomination and in some places even ahead of Biden in polls which are far out, that they wouldn't vote for a convicted criminal essentially.


AMANPOUR: What do you think about the polls? Where do you think people are headed if he does get convicted?

GALLOWAY: Well, the poll I've read is that 7 percent of his existing voters would say they wouldn't want to vote for someone who had been convicted.

And your first reaction is that's exceptional that his base is that hardened at less than one in ten. But that 7 percent would be enough to make it virtually impossible.


AMANPOUR: So in that case, what is it that Biden seems unable to do or say to persuade, you know, these crucial swing voters or those who will determine the election? Because you yourself has described the economy in general as just right.

GALLOWAY: Look, of the G7 economies, the U.S. Is growing as fast or faster and yet it has the lowest inflation rate. I mean they kind of pulled off a Goldilocks economy.

What's interesting in the U.S. though is that when people see wages rise they credit their own character and grit. And when it's the inflation they blame the government.

AMANPOUR: So that's interesting. And clearly the media and social media have a big role to play. I've been struck by what a lot of people say is that there's just too much talk of Biden's age and not enough talk of what Trump represents and the opposite.


AMANPOUR: And the fact that, you know, Biden has beaten Trump and the Democrats have beaten, you know, the MAGA Republicans, through all the elections, midterm and the like, since 2020.

Do you think the media and the intellectuals, you know, the public talking about Biden is also a little off? It keeps emphasizing the negative and not what you're just saying and not all the legislation and not all the infrastructure bills and the money that's pouring into various states.

GALLOWAY: I think it's impossible to argue against that. And I would argue that his speechwriter most recently got your message.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Trump's assault on democracy isn't just part of his past, it's what he's promising with the future.

We must be clear, democracy is on the ballot. Your freedom is on the ballot.


GALLOWAY: That draws sharp relief between him and Trump. Didn't go after him personally. Didn't go after him politically. Said this is -- are we a democracy or are we an autocracy?

AMANPOUR: So does democracy sell? The messaging on democracy, does it sell to American voters?

GALLOWAY: That's the correct question because supposedly a third of Democrats and approximately a third of Republicans wouldn't mind an autocracy as long as it was his or her guy or gal, which is a frightening thing when you think about it. The polarization is so deep and so coarse in the United States that we now seem to be at least open to the idea that democracy might not be the way to go.

AMANPOUR: You have said I'm one of those who believes too much tech is concentrated in too few hands. So what does that mean for everything from democracy and civil society to, you know, personal habits and relationships.

GALLOWAY: Well, just look at the markets. Last year the S&P and Nasdaq had one of their best years in history. But it was really the seven companies referred to as the Magnificent Seven that were responsible for the majority of the gains.

And when you have too much concentration of power in the hands of a small number of organizations or people it leads to bad things.

AMANPOUR: So what will it do for instance A.I., you know, as you said, it's -- barely regulated, in fact, it's not regulated right now.

GALLOWAY: I think we're about to see the first real externalities of A.I. I think we're going to see the kind of mother of all misinformation and disinformation in Q1 and Q2.

And if it's logical, if you're Vladimir Putin and you're spending $70 billion of your -- and 100,000 lives on what to date has been a failed war in Ukraine wouldn't you be smart to just take a fraction of that and spend it on A.I.-calibrated and driven misinformation because the fastest blue line path to victory for Putin in Ukraine would be Trump's re-election.

You're also this year I think going to see an acceleration in kind of the infrastructure or dynamics of loneliness. We're producing a cohort of young men who are falling off the map economically, have very few romantic prospects, are going to college less and less, have more and more of their on-ramps to the middle-class being shut off in terms of middle-class jobs in manufacturing that have been offshored. And they are turning to algorithms and porn quite frankly to replace relationships.

So instead of real relationships which is -- I would argue the most rewarding thing in life, they're turning to a reasonable facsimile of relationships with algorithms and content and A.I. girlfriends. I think loneliness is the biggest threat from A.I.

AMANPOUR: So I necessarily wouldn't bring up a sex therapist at this point --


AMANPOUR: -- but you lead me into Esther Perel who has spoken about this and she has such an incredible following. And she talked to me about precisely these threats and how it might even change us as a species. Listen to what she said about it.


ESTHER PEREL, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: So what it creates is more seclusion, more virtualization of our lives. People have sex, but with themselves or online or in the virtual world. But it's not that they're not being sexual, they just do not interact with real-life other people.

And what it leads us to, this is the big question, are we becoming a different species? Will we ultimately become something else? And I think there's a good chance that that will happen.


AMANPOUR: I mean, your reaction. That's a pretty, you know, big anthropological evolutionary thing to say.

GALLOWAY: We're mammals. We're supposed to be around each other. We're supposed to touch. We're supposed to fall in love. We're supposed to procreate. Those are the most rewarding things in life.


GALLOWAY: And all of this -- at the end of the day, it's not about GDP, it's not about inflation, it's about establishing deep and meaningful relationships.

And the problem with men who don't have a romantic relationship is all their other relationships fall away. Women without a romantic relationship are much better at maintaining a friend network. It ends up that women are much better at finding places to put and receive love, but young men without a romantic relationship not only fall off the tracks romantically but fall off the tracks professionally and there's nothing more dangerous than a young, broke and lonely man. And we're producing too many of them in the West.

AMANPOUR: Really interesting.

Scott Galloway, thank you very much indeed.

GALLOWAY: Thank you, Christiane. And good to see you.


AMANPOUR: And we'll have more of that interview during the week.

Up next, red, white, and pink. America Ferrera on that unforgettable moment in the billion-dollar box office success "Barbie".


FERRERA: It's like we all lose when we live inside of these boxes, literal and imagined.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

It was arguably the most unforgettable moment in the billion-dollar blockbuster "Barbie".


FERRERA: Literally impossible to be a woman. We have to always be extraordinary. But somehow we're always doing it wrong. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line.

I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us.


AMANPOUR: Ah, yes, the perpetual double standards. America Ferrera there with a raw, honest and inspirational assessment of the impossible standards women are held to.

With awards season shifting into high gear after the Golden Globes where "Barbie" won for cinematic and box office achievement, I sat down with Ferrera here in L.A. to talk about this "Barbie's" subversive feminism and Oscar controversy.


AMANPOUR: America Ferrera, welcome to the program.

FERRERA: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: How surprised were you at the huge impact that monologue had, your speech in "Barbie" which was already such a successful film?

FERRERA: It was amazing to see how it hit the audiences and what the responses were. I know that when I first read the script, everything before and after and including the monologue --


FERRERA: We have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doing it wrong.


FERRERA: I know that I was just blown away, and it was so unexpected. And as a woman, I was just so excited, you know, that -- that it's the "Barbie" movie that no one asked for, that no one thought we needed, you know.

AMANPOUR: And kind of subversively seriously feminist.

FERRERA: Yes. Yes.

AMANPOUR: And nobody believed that. They thought it was just going to be another telling of a really incredible doll that so many -- millions of girls around the world played with.

FERRERA: Yes. And it could have been that, you know, it very easily could have been something bright and fun and exciting and probably would have made a lot of money and been successful.

But what Greta and her partner Noah did with the script and then Greta as the director creating this world, it was so generous, and it was so exciting.

And you know, as an adult woman, mother, you know, to get a third of the way into the script and then to meet this adult -- real, flawed, you know, insecure but having ambition woman like struggling to be, you know, so many things to so many different people -- it was so exciting to feel like we had a voice in the story.

And you know, that -- I felt that way independent of being asked to be a part of it, just as a woman in the world.

AMANPOUR: So we played a little bit of that speech. What would you say is the standout -- like the standout message that you wanted and maybe now really want even more to get across to young girls and even men?

FERRERA: Yes. I mean, that's the other piece of the generosity of this is that Greta and Noah didn't only make Ken the butt of the joke, everyone the butt of the joke at some point -- they gave him a real reason to be in the story. They created a foil to the women's journey, to the journey about femininity and had this whole beautiful journey about masculinity and what it means for this character that Ryan Gosling obviously played with like Marlon Brando commitment. It was so -- yes, so amazing to watch.

I do feel like the message is deeply universal. It's not just for women or just for girls. It's like we all lose when we live inside of these boxes, literal and imagined. And that we all are yearning and wanting to be more than the boxes that we get stuck in and we keep ourselves in.

AMANPOUR: There's some controversy -- Judd Apatow, the wonderful film and comedic personality, has basically said, you know, the idea of the academy, the academy awards, putting "Barbie" in the adapted screenplay category for the Oscars instead of original screenplay, he said on Twitter, X, that it's insulting to writers. Do you agree?


FERRERA: You know, I'm not a writer and I don't know the rules and the ins and outs of the academy. I think that it -- you know, that there was no story before Greta got her hands on this, to think that anyone handed anything to Greta.

If anything this IP and the fact that it was "Barbie" was a bigger obstacle towards creating an exciting, new kind of groundbreaking story and character. It's wholly and completely original. And I think that it should have been in the category that the writers chose to submit it in. That said, I'm not an academy rules expert, and I don't know.

AMANPOUR: You told Mark Ronson, the music producer, there's going to be a before "Barbie" and after "Barbie".

FERRERA: I did tell him that.

AMANPOUR: So how did the world change before and after? And how did America Ferrera's world change?

FERRERA: Wow. Those are two very big questions. I mean, I think that -- only time will tell what the real cultural impact and individual impact for people watching this film can have.

I know that as an artist, it is so deeply inspiring, its creativity, its cinematic artistry, and also just the rules that it breaks, you know.

And I do think that it was -- it was that "Bridesmaids" moment, you know, where before that there was unspoken acceptance that women weren't funny and that women's movies couldn't be funny, and if it was a movie about women men wouldn't watch it or other people wouldn't watch it, and it couldn't travel and couldn't make money.

And I do feel like there was a before "Bridesmaids" and an after "Bridesmaids". And that's how I felt when I read the script when we were making the movie.

There is going to be a before and an after. And it's going to be about opening people's ideas of what's possible in storytelling and what we're capable of.

AMANPOUR: And the women's and girl's stories actually do sell.

FERRERA: Yes, and that their stories are our stories. I grew up my whole life wanting to be Tom Hanks, you know. I grew up putting myself in men's shoes as a child. Like of course, men can do the reverse, of course people of all genders can see themselves in each other. It's so simple.

But it's also a choice to place value in those stories. And Greta and Margot took a huge swing and got people to take a massive bet, and they delivered.

AMANPOUR: America Ferrera, thank you so much.

FERRERA: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Up next on the show, from the archive, what U.S. Marines found when they led the 1990s peacekeeping force into Kosovo.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

From my archive this week, we begin with a major breakthrough in the Balkans. It sounds like small potatoes, but the fact that Serbia and Kosovo have agreed to diffuse tensions by cooperating on vehicle license plates is, in fact, a step forward, since both sides use these symbols in their competing claims of nationalism.

Back in 1999, I was there as the U.S. led a NATO coalition to free Kosovo from the brutal Yugoslav rule. It was a victory for human rights that led to Kosovo's independence and its status as a vital U.S. ally.

When I reported on U.S. Marines entering with the Kosovo peace force back then, we discovered the horrors the former Yugoslavia's Serbian troops had committed on Kosovo's Muslim majority.


AMANPOUR: U.S. forces rolling into Kosovo get their first good look at just why they are here. Dismay fills these young faces at the site of so many burned houses, at the stark evidence of ethnic cleansing.

SGT. JASON TOOMAN, U.S. MARINE CORPS: I think it is messed up. And I wouldn't -- I'd hate to see this happen at home, and I hate to see it happen anywhere.

AMANPOUR: But it gets worse. This is the first mass burial site discovered by K4. U.S. Troops are guarding it until war crimes investigators can exhume these 35 mounds of earth. And there are reports of many more in Kosovo.

Marines and infantry soldiers check for mines and other dangers as they move into their designated sector of Kosovo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to have the attack helicopters hovering around the rear.

AMANPOUR: But this deployment goes smoothly. U.S. forces are surprised the only resistance they get from departing Yugoslav troops are a few choice words and a few obscene gestures.

LT. COL. JOE ANDERSON, U.S. MARINE CORPS: We thought there would probably be some harassment stuff on the way out, maybe some mortar fire coming in to kind of slow us down, to kind of disorganize us. We thought there'd be a little more sniper fire.

AMANPOUR: Ethnic Albanians trickling back home treat NATO like an army of liberation, a sign that for them, the tables are turning ten years Slobodan Milosevic stripped after their autonomy and their rights. So they give flowers to K4 troops, and they give the finger to departing Serb soldiers and civilians. And then they rush to check out their homes.

Gulia (ph) and her family find theirs standing, but the Yugoslav soldiers have, her friends say were billeted here have trashed it and stolen all the valuables.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing is here, nothing that I left. Washing machine, a dish machine.

AMANPOUR: Even the shower was ripped from the wall.

But it's 6-year-old Miliad (ph) who is most traumatized. He is looking for his toys. They've been stolen, too and he's heartbroken.

But it is a small price, his mother says, for freedom. Freedom, they say, that only NATO can guarantee. They are deeply suspicious of Russian maneuvers up the road in Pristina (ph).

The ethnic Albanians don't want Russian forces anywhere near them. And so the end, the test of NATO's success is going to be how quickly these troops fan out and claim the country, establishing not just security but control, as well.


AMANPOUR: And with Serbia's Russian ally continuing to threaten Europe today, the U.S. is pressing for peace, stability, and accountability for war crimes in the Balkans.

And that is about all the time we have for this week. Don't forget that you can find all of our shows online as podcasts at, and on all other major platforms.

I'm Christiane Amanpour in Los Angeles. Thank you for watching. And i'll see you again from London next week.