Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film Richard Jewell is set to release in theaters this weekend, and members of the media are already calling for the public to boycott it.
One day after the Atlanta Constitution-Journal and editor Kevin Riley threatened the producers and filmmakers of Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” over its accusations of “malicious fabrications” in the film, calls to boycott the movie are mounting, The Wrap reports.
The irony here is noted by Warner Bros., the studio that produced the film:
“There is no disputing that Richard Jewell was an innocent man whose reputation and life were shredded by a miscarriage of justice,” their statement read. “It is unfortunate and the ultimate irony that the Atlanta Journal Constitution, having been a part of the rush to judgment of Richard Jewell, is now trying to malign our filmmakers and cast. ‘Richard Jewell’ focuses on the real victim, seeks to tell his story, confirm his innocence and restore his name. The AJC’s claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend against them.”
Biography.com gives a little backstory on Jewell:
Early in the morning of July 27, 1996, amid the hoopla of the Summer Olympics that made Atlanta, Georgia, the center of the world for a fortnight, security guard Richard Jewell was working his beat at downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park when he noticed an olive-green backpack beneath a bench.
After nobody claimed the pack, Jewell and an associate summoned a bomb squad, who confirmed their worst fears. Jewell immediately dashed into the neighboring five-story sound tower and pushed out the technical crew immersed in their jobs, before the 40-pound pipe bomb detonated in a deafening blow.
Why the media hates the story of Richard Jewell
On July 30, after an early interview with Katie Couric on Today, Jewell received a visit from two FBI agents who said they were making a training video. He agreed to go along with them to headquarters and consented to a videotaped interview, but grew suspicious after the agents attempted to have him sign a waiver of rights.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had spilled the beans with an afternoon edition that proclaimed FBI SUSPECTS ‘HERO’ GUARD MAY HAVE PLANTED BOMB on the front page. Jewell returned to a media horde camped outside his mother’s apartment building, only to turn on the TV and see Tom Brokaw announce to the world that he was the lead suspect in the case and likely to be arrested soon.
The following day, Jewell helplessly waited outside his building as FBI agents rooted through his apartment for evidence that did not exist. Pictures of the portly, beleaguered security guard sitting on his steps only fueled the ugly media caricature that was beginning to take shape, one that portrayed him as an unmarried, 33-year-old who lived with his mother and desperately grasping for a shred of glory.
The media essentially ruined Richard Jewell’s life, and the publication calling for a boycott of the film are the one’s that started it all.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution claims that the movie version of reporter Kathy Scruggs, a real woman who died in 2001, is written as someone who gets story tips in exchange for sexual favors with an FBI agent. Essentially, they are mad with how Clint Eastwood depicts members of the media in his film.
Naturally, leftist twitter joined in the calls for boycott, crying “sexism” as the reason:
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
It's 2019. Smart, thoughtful people have condemned this offensive trope loudly and consistently for years. They have persuasively explained why it is abhorrent. Please do not reward Clint Eastwood for deploying it. Do not pay money for RICHARD JEWELL. — Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) December 9, 2019
The AJC’s top editor, Kevin Riley, told The Daily Beast that his newsroom has been in an uproar since Warner Bros. began screening the film several weeks ago, especially over the damaging portrayal of their late colleague—who is not around to defend herself—and the misconceptions the movie spreads about how journalists operate.
“It’s unbelievably gratuitous,” Riley said about the film’s inaccurate portrayal of Scruggs “The letter is a way of communicating how seriously we take this portrayal of our reporter, who can’t defend herself, and of our work. We find it extremely troubling in these times when the media is under almost constant attack, for a film that claims to be portraying a real situation to suggest that this is how journalists operate. It is not how good journalists operate. It is not how we operate.”
Remember, the film is about how the media ruined a heroes life over the publication, and spread, of fake news. The news outlet that started the entire thing doesn’t want anyone to see it… So you should definitely go see it.