This weekend on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean joined the chorus of rabid critics of the megahit film American Sniper by claiming the audience for the movie is nothing more than angry tea partiers: (video above)
“There’s a lot of anger in this country, and the people who go see this movie are people who are very angry. This guy (the late Chris Kyle) basically says, ‘I’m going to fight on your side. I bet you if you looked at the cross-section of the tea party and people who see this movie there’s a lot of intersection.”
Actor and advocate for American troops Gary Sinise took to Twitter Monday to respond to Dean’s odd assertion:
To Howard Dean, I saw American Sniper and would not consider myself to be an angry person. You certainly have a rig… http://t.co/TrZSeBFcc1
— Gary Sinise (@GarySinise) January 26, 2015
To Howard Dean,
I saw American Sniper and would not consider myself to be an angry person. You certainly have a right to make stupid blanket statements, suggesting that all people who see this film are angry, but how is that helpful sir? Do you also suggest that everyone at Warner Brothers is angry because they released the film? That Clint Eastwood, Jason Hall, Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and the rest of the cast and crew are angry because they made the film? Chris Kyle’s story deserved to be told. It tells a story of the stress that multiple deployments have on one military family, a family representative of thousands of military families. It helps to communicate the toll that the war on terror has taken on our defenders. Defenders and families who need our support. I will admit that perhaps somewhere among the masses of people who are going to see the film there may be a few that might have some anger or have been angry at some point in their lives, but, with all due respect, what the hell are you talking about?
The Huffington Post points out that although political partisans have squared off on opposite sides of the film, American Sniper’s director has maintained that the story in not political:
(Director Clint) Eastwood has stayed at a distance from the debate, but he did discuss the film during an event this past weekend. The director noted that “American Sniper” had “anti-war” values at its core because of how it depicts Kyle’s struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. Eastwood had earlier said the film wasn’t political in nature.