One person who doesn’t understand the controversy surrounding American Sniper? The first lady.
Michelle Obama recently brought up the film during a speech to a crowd that included Bradley Cooper, its star, at the launch of the 6 Certified program at the National Geographic Society, Us Weekly reports. In her speech, she told the crowd about why she thinks they should see the hotly debated film.
“Today, I’m calling on all of you and folks across the entertainment industry to change the conversation about our veterans and military families,” she said. “Give us the full story… I’m not saying that you should tell these stories just because it’s the nice thing to do or the right thing to do. You should do it because these are good stories, period. They make for tremendous TV and movies that people want to see. So these stories are good for business as well.”
She gave a shout out to American Sniper‘s box office success, too.
“The No. 1 movie in America right now is a complex, emotional depiction of a veteran and his family,” she continued. “And I had a chance to see American Sniper this week on that long flight and while I know there have been critics, I felt that, more often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences that I’ve heard firsthand from military families over these past few years.”
Despite pulling in more than $264 million at the worldwide box office, American Sniper has been criticized by celebrities and moviegoers alike for supposed historical inaccuracies that some said undermined the story of Chris Kyle, the army sniper who inspired the story.
“Here’s why a movie like this is important: See, the vast majority of Americans will never see these stories,” Michelle added. “They will never grasp these issues on an emotional level without portrayals like this… Films and TV are often the best way we have to share those stories… You don’t have to center an entire movie or create a special episode on these issues. These folks can just be ordinary characters in the communities you create — a neighbor who once saw combat, a teacher whose son is deployed. See, that’s the way we hope our country will welcome back our veterans — not by setting them apart, but by fully integrating them into the fabric of our communities.”
Do you agree with the first lady? Tell us what you think in the comments!