Michael Moore Highlights Irony of Celebrating Snipers as ‘Heroes’ on MLK Weekend


On Sunday, entertainment sites began reporting the news that Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper was set to break Martin Luther King weekend box office records by taking in over $100 million in ticket sales, leading some on Twitter to acknowledge the strange irony of the headlines:

It was in this context that filmmaker Michael Moore started tweeting his thoughts about snipers, without mentioning the weekend’s most popular film:

Inevitably, these sentiments induced severe backlash, mostly from conservatives, who expressed disgust over Moore’s characterization of American Sniper’s “hero,” the real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle:

Soon, there were headlines on The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, TheBlaze and other sites linking Moore’s tweets to the Eastwood film.

Then, this morning, Moore decided to clarify his remarks — and point out that his original tweets never mentioned American Sniper or Chris Kyle:

Moore also shared a long note on Facebook that did include his thoughts about the film. “Lots of talk about snipers this weekend (the holiday weekend of a great man, killed by a sniper), so I thought I’d weigh in with what I was raised to believe about snipers,” he began, before explaining how his own father’s WWII experience shaped his view of snipers.

After calling out media organizations for assuming his original comments were aimed at American Sniper, he shared his unexpected thoughts about the film:

Awesome performance from Bradley Cooper. One of the best of the year. Great editing. Costumes, hair, makeup superb!

Oh… and too bad Clint gets Vietnam and Iraq confused in his storytelling. And that he has his characters calling Iraqis “savages” throughout the film. But there is also anti-war sentiment expressed in the movie. And there’s a touching ending as the main character is remembered after being gunned down by a fellow American vet with PTSD who was given a gun at a gun range back home in Texas — and then used it to kill the man who called himself the ‘America Sniper’.

Also, best movie trailer and TV ads of the year.

Most of us were taught the story of Jesse James and that the scoundrel wasn’t James (who was a criminal who killed people) but rather the sniper who shot him in the back. I think most Americans don’t think snipers are heroes.

Hopefully not on this weekend when we remember that man in Memphis, Tennessee, who was killed by a sniper’s bullet.

Read the full post below:

So, while Moore may not have set out to talk about American Sniper, he certainly got there in the end. And really, he could have avoided a lot of confusion by taking Seth Rogen’s route and just straight-out comparing the movie to Nazi propaganda:

[Photo via Nicolas Genin/Flickr]

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