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The Girl From Slumdog Millionaire Maybe But Probably Not For Sale

The UK’s News of the World published an EXPLOSIVE article this weekend claiming at the father of Rubina Ali, the cute little girl from Slumdog Millionaire, a music video about how magical poverty is, tried to sell her for £200,000 pounds. The UK’s News of the World, one of the finest papers, claimed that this was the number that the father demanded from the paper’s UNDERCOVER SHEIK, who was posing as a prospective buyer. Because the UK’s News of the World has undercover sheik’s. It’s called journalism. Look it up. Anyway, the story is pretty grim:

As he offered the shocking deal to the News of the World’s undercover fake sheik this week, Rafiq declared: “I have to consider what’s best for me, my family and Rubina’s future.”

Rafiq tried to blame Hollywood bosses for forcing him to put his daughter up for SALE.

As he tried to fix the illegal adoption deal, real-life slum dweller Rafiq declared: “We’ve got nothing out of this film.”

Then, almost embarrassed to speak it out loud, he whispered to an accomplice the price tag he has put on his innocent young daughter: “It’s £200,000!”

That was an astonishing FOURFOLD increase on his opening demand. But Rafiq’s equally demanding brother Mohiuddin insisted: “The child is special now. This is NOT an ordinary child. This is an Oscar child!”

This is horrible. A father trying to sell an ugly daughter that America hasn’t fallen in love with maybe, but this is different! The father has since been arrested, but claims that he was framed, and that he was simply trying to land Rubina another movie role now that she is famous. Which actually seems totally reasonable to me. The international community has been pretty quick to buy into a story written by a third-rate British junk paper in which an UNDERCOVER SHEIK got the scoop.

The children of Mumbai have their doubts about the veracity of this rumor.

I’m just saying. Maybe Rubina’s father was trying to sell her, which is really upsetting just on a human ‘this stuff happens?’ level, but also maybe he wasn’t. The idea that he could have misinterpreted the conversation and was bargaining a higher price for a role in a movie because a lot of people don’t have any idea how that stuff works anyway seems like a totally legitimate misinterpretation.

Obviously, now that Slumdog Millionaire won every Academy Award, including Best Animated Feature, we’re all poverty experts and understand the lengths people will go to try and escape it (including jumping through an outhouse hole into a pile of shit, which is a really common thing that poor people do a lot we now know) but maybe we as a collective group of Professors of the Human Condition who all know what’s going on so well because we saw Slumdog Millionaire after brunch one day can relax a little bit on our expectations that OF COURSE those poor children are being sold by their parents, because of course poor parents don’t love their children the way we do, AND CETRA.

Now if you’ll excuse me, this soap box isn’t going to get off of itself.