• Crying Foul: Atlanta Newspaper Not Happy with Clint Eastwood’s Next Film Release

    Surge Summary: Director Clint Eastwood’s next film, scheduled for a mid-December release, is coming under fire for factual inaccuracies. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution is complaining that the big-screen drama Richard Jewell, based on the true story of a man falsely accused of 1996’s Olympics bombing, is filled with misrepresentations of actual events.

    Actor/Director Clint Eastwood plainly enjoys making films based on true-life happenings. He’s done it time and again to notable box-office success. Still, his latest film project,

    Richard Jewell, which will supposedly recount the story of an Atlanta security guard falsely accused of planting a bomb at 1996’s Olympics when, in fact, he saved lives during the chaos, is not receiving raves from the hometown paper.

    Newser’s Jen Gidman writes,

    In an emailed statement to Fox News and the Wrap, Kevin Riley, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, blasts the film for what he says are inaccuracies about the coverage the paper gave to Jewell after the blast that killed two and injured more than 100.

    Riley, who apparently hasn’t viewed the movie but obtained details of it from a Journal-Constitution reporter who attended an advance screening, is objecting to what he claims is a bogus depiction of his paper’s using unreliable sources for its initial treatment of the story. He also takes issue with the script’s portrayal of reporter Kathy Scruggs exchanging sex with an FBI agent for a news tip.

    “There is no evidence that this ever happened, and if the film portrays this, it’s offensive and deeply troubling in the #MeToo era,” Riley says. “Kathy Scruggs … was known as an aggressive reporter and committed journalist who sought always to beat her competition.”

    He also says the paper proceeded meticulously, per journalistic protocol, in reporting Jewell was a suspect, and that their scoop would’ve soon become public knowledge anyway via law enforcement. Riley—who claims the film “disregards … crucial facts” and has an “underlying theme … that the FBI and press are not to be trusted”—also says the AJC was the first to challenge the investigation into Jewell, which helped lead to clearing him.

    Sadly, Jewell  passed away in 2007 at 44. The actual guilty party in that crime and other bombings turned out to be Eric Rudolph, who is currently serving four life sentences without chance of parole.

    Once more, Clint Eastwood has helmed a number of worthy, even critically acclaimed films; and who knows if the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s gripes will end up being born out once the general public views the movie. That said, this hub-bub serves a reminder that anytime a cinematic product begins with the inscription “based on true events” … audience members best proceed with a jaundiced eye.

    There’s “artistic license”, after all, and then, sometimes, there’s something else …

    Richard Jewell opens Dec. 13.

    H/T: Newser/Jen Gidman

    Image: Adapted from: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo – J. Edgar Premier, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66547524


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