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Target Michael Moore: Filmmaker creates PR crisis but denies criticizing ‘American Sniper’

» Posted by on Jan 20, 2015

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The Clint Eastwood blockbuster ‘American Sniper‘ is breaking box office records and even has some Oscar buzz going for Best Picture. It got six Academy Awards nods in all.

Before the movie was released, some Hollywood insiders predicted an Oscar snub because of the subject matter of ‘American Sniper’… that it wouldn’t appeal to left-leaning Academy voters.

Fox News contacted me after the nominations were announced and I said that timing of this movie aligned perfectly with world events to produce a nomination.

“Any other year it may not have been politically correct to support a movie like this,” I said to Fox News. “But given these crazy times, it may seem un-American not to. Americans want essay writing to believe that good will triumph over evil and this movie exemplifies that.”

‘American Sniper’ completely topped expectations at the box office this weekend. And the reviews from the public have been wildly supportive of the war movie.

With that as a backdrop, Michael Moore took to Twitter.

“My uncle killed by sniper in WW2,” Moore tweeted. “We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.”

The backlash began. Moore tweeted again to clarify his position.

And then he took to Facebook where he wasn’t limited to 140 characters.

“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.

“Deadline Hollywood and the Hollywood Reporter turned that into stories about how I don’t like Clint Eastwood’s new film, “American Sniper.” I didn’t say a word about “American Sniper” in my tweets.”

The movie depicts good versus evil. The American sniper is fighting the evil in this world. And if you’ve picked up the paper or watched the news lately, you know that we’re living in a scary world with the evils of terrorism more in our face than ever before.

Any other time in history, perhaps, more people might agree with Moore. The social context of this movie comes at a time that we embrace snipers like the American sniper depicted in this movie because we need people like him to survive. The world is so uncertain and people like him keep us all safe.

The issue has little to do with whether Michael Moore was criticizing the movie, as Moore sees it. It has everything to do with criticizing the American sniper, which he did, because he criticized all snipers and called them cowards. He says doesn’t like any snipers, apparently that includes the ones working on the side of the good guys.

The pushback from the public came because they see his comments as un-American.

The same reason that the movie was nominated and has a chance of winning (because besides being a well-made movie usually politics plays into the Academy Awards) is because of the backdrop that this movie is playing in. A world filled with terrorism and terrorism, beheadings, bombings and lots of uncertainty with a significant number of people believing that this evil must be eradicated in any way possible–including the use of snipers.

Thought it dramatizes events a half a world away, the movie hits close to home for lots of people. All of us are living in this petrifying, uncertain world and we are thrilled that people like the American sniper are doing what they have to do to keep us all safe. And the public just doesn’t want to hear differently from anyone–including Michael Moore. Sometimes it is best to keep your thoughts to yourself.

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Glenn Selig founded The Publicity Agency in 2007 and has represented some of the biggest newsmakers and most influential business leaders and companies nationwide. He is a frequent guest on MSNBC, Fox News Channel and on CNN. Reporters call him for an expert PR opinion on high profile cases to offer perspective. He also appears on air to publicly defend his clients. View the PR firm website and follow him on Twitter @GlennSelig