Clint Eastwood’s new movie hasn’t even premiered yet, but it’s already stirring up controversy.
“Richard Jewell”, which stars Paul Walter Hauser as a security guard falsely suspected of bombing the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, is facing criticism from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution over the film’s portrayal of their reporting on the real life case.
The Wrap obtained a letter from AJC editor-in-chief Kevin G. Riley calling out the movie for key inaccuracies, including a scene in which reporter Kathy Scruggs is depicted trading sex with an FBI agent for a tip on the story, with Riley writing there is no evidence that actually took place.
Additionally, Riley disputed the film’s characterization that the AJC used questionable sourcing for its reporting.
“This is essential because the underlying theme of the movie is that the FBI and press are not to be trusted. Yet the way the press is portrayed often differs from reality,” Riley said. “As more and more filmmaking has come to Atlanta and Georgia, we’ve gotten a taste of just how difficult it can be to cover this industry. I share this information in the spirit of a fellow journalist who knows how crucial it remains to have solid information when covering demanding stories. It’s also ironic that a film purporting to hold the media to account disregards such crucial facts.”
Warner Bros. has not yet responded to Riley’s letter.
“Richard Jewell” hits theatres Dec. 13.