Amid swirling criticism from the media, Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood is standing firmly behind his new film “Richard Jewell.”
As reported in The Wrap, the heated controversy surrounds the movie’s portrayal of the late journalist Kathy Scruggs, whom the film portrays as someone who capitalized on her sexuality for professional gain. On screen, the former Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter allegedly exchange sex with FBI agent Tom Shaw (portrayed by Jon Hamm of “Mad Men”) for tips regarding the FBI’s investigation into Richard Jewell as a potential suspect for the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
Needless to say, many journalists are unhappy with the manner in which Eastwood’s film portrays Scruggs.
Mark Joseph Stern of Slate was particularly incensed, as evidenced by his reaction on Twitter:
Please do not pay to see movies that feature fictional female journalists who sleep with with sources for a story. It's an egregiously sexist, demeaning, insulting trope and at this stage I don't see an appropriate response other than a flat-out boycott. https://t.co/UvxsYXd6MK
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) December 9, 2019
Even as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has hired well-known Hollywood lawyer Martin D. Singer in an attempt to get the film’s producers to acknowledge the “artistic license” used to portray Scruggs, Eastwood is not backing down.
According to the Daily Mail, Eastwood responded to the film’s critics: “I think the Atlanta Journal (sic) probably would be the one group that would be sort of complexed about that whole situation because they are the ones who printed the first thing of there being a crime caused by Richard Jewell. And so they’re probably looking for ways to rationalize their activity,” the Hollywood icon continued. “I don’t know for sure. I haven’t ever discussed it with anyone from there.”
Controversy or not, Eastwood’s desire to bring Richard Jewell’s life to the big screen has been five years in the making, and the director is very proud of his recent effort: “… We’re telling our story. And I think I think we did a really good job.’
Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff