The movie “American Sniper” is a box-office hit, displacing “The Passion of the Christ” as the top-grossing movie to debut in winter. It’s also stirring up controversy among the Hollywood elite.
Days after “American Sniper” was nominated for six Oscars, the Clint Eastwood film—based on the real-life story of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle—pulled in more than $100 million for its nationwide opening. Kyle is played by actor Bradley Cooper.
Outspoken filmmaker Michael Moore and actor Seth Rogen, known for his role in “The Interview,” sparked debate with these tweets:
My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 18, 2015
But if you're on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who've come 7K miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 19, 2015
American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that's showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) January 18, 2015
I just said something "kinda reminded" me of something else. I actually liked American Sniper. It just reminded me of the Tarantino scene.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) January 19, 2015
Rogen’s tweet left some wondering if the Hollywood star was comparing “American Sniper” to Nazi propaganda. Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” features a German sniper celebrated for killing soldiers.
The debate drew the attention of Washington as well. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich weighed in with an attack on Moore:
Michael Moore should spend a few weeks with ISIS and Boko Haram. Then he might appreciate@AmericanSniper. I am proud of our defenders.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) January 19, 2015
Moore responded with a lengthy Facebook post explaining why he spoke out: