Olivia Wilde In ‘Richard Jewell’ Twitter Frenzy

Olivia Wilde In ‘Richard Jewell’ Twitter Frenzy

12 Dec 2019 (PT)
RICHARD JEWELLOLIVIA WILDE

Olivia Wilde took to Twitter today to further expound on her turn as late Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist Kathy Scruggs in Clint Eastwood’s movie Richard Jewell ,which has stirred up plenty of noise in the wake of its Nov. 20 AFI premiere. While the film looks to show how the innocent Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics security guard battled against a media backlash spurred by the AJC breaking the story that he was the lead suspect, what has riled up the paper’s current editor Kevin Riley to the point of threatening a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and the filmmakers is how the film shows Scruggs exchanging sex for a leading tip from an FBI agent played by Jon Hamm.

Wilde exclaims today, “Contrary to a swath of recent headlines, I do not believe that Kathy ‘traded sex for tips’. Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had. That would be an appalling and misogynistic dismissal of the difficult work she did.”

“As I understood it, was that Kathy, and the FBI agent who leaked false information to her, were in a pre-existing romantic relationship, not a transactional exchange of sex for information,” continues the  Booksmart filmmaker.

“I cannot speak for the creative decisions made by the filmmakers, as I did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted, but it's important to me that I share my personal take on the matter,” said Wilde.

Wilde on Dec. 2, spoke with Deadline about the whole AJC stir-up with  Richard Jewell, saying “What I resented was this character being boiled down to one inferred scene and I don't hear anyone complaining about Jon Hamm's character as being inferred that he also had a relationship with a reporter. It feels unfair that Kathy has been minimized in this way…I think that we are still struggling with allowing for female characters who aren't entirely quote-unquote likable. If there's anything slightly questionable about a female character, we often use that in relation to condemn that character or to condemn the project for allowing for a woman to be impure in a way. It's a misunderstanding of feminism to assume that all women have to be sexless. I resent the character being minimized to that point.”

Today, Wilde adds, “My previous comments about female sexuality were lost in translation, so let me be clear: I do not believe sex-positivity and professionalism are mutually exclusive. Kathy Scruggs was a modern, independent woman whose personal life should not detract from her accomplishments.”

While Scruggs was known to have a brazen, fearless manner as the police beat reporter for the AJC, several people close to her in addition to Jewell’s former libel prosecuting attorney L. Lin Wood say that there was never any evidence to suggest she ever exchanged sex for story tips. Under oath in a May 23, 1997 deposition, Scruggs does says she dated a cop in the Atlanta police force, but the relationship had ended well before the 1996 bombing “in 93 or 94” she says under oath.

In the Nov. 26 AJC article “The Ballad of Kathy Scruggs”, attorney Edward Tolley, a close friend of Scruggs, says “If she's being portrayed as some floozy, it's just not true.”  In the same article, Kent Alexander, whose co-authored book Suspect was source material for the Eastwood pic says that “Law enforcement loved her, just loved her” with the time cops once responding to a 3 a.m. call when Scruggs refused to get out of a taxi outside a Buckhead hotel. “She was drunk, naked and sitting in the driver's seat,” reads Jennifer Brett’s article.  Suspect co-author Kelvin Salwen says, “Kathy lived her life very fully…She lived hard, she played hard.”

Below is Wilde’s series of nine tweets today on playing Kathy Scruggs in Richard Jewell.

“One of the things I love about directing is the ability to control the voice and message of the film. As an actor, it's more complicated, and I want to share my perspective on my role in the film “Richard Jewell

“I was asked to play the supporting role of Kathy Scruggs, who was, by all accounts, bold, smart, and fearlessly undeterred by the challenge of being a female reporter in the south in the 1990s. I cannot even contemplate the amount of sexism she may have faced in the way of duty,” continued the actress-filmmaker-activist.

“As a child of journalists myself, I have deep respect for the essential work of all in their field, particularly today when the media is routinely attacked and discredited, and regional papers like the AJC are disappearing on a daily basis.”

“Contrary to a swath of recent headlines, I do not believe that Kathy ‘traded sex for tips’. Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had. That would be an appalling and misogynistic dismissal of the difficult work she did.”

“The perspective of the fictional dramatization of the story, as I understood it, was that Kathy, and the FBI agent who leaked false information to her, were in a pre-existing romantic relationship, not a transactional exchange of sex for information.”

“I cannot speak for the creative decisions made by the filmmakers, as I did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted, but it's important to me that I share my personal take on the matter.

“My previous comments about female sexuality were lost in translation, so let me be clear: I do not believe sex-positivity and professionalism are mutually exclusive. Kathy Scruggs was a modern, independent woman whose personal life should not detract from her accomplishments.”

“She unfortunately became a piece of the massive puzzle that was responsible for the brutal and unjust vilification of an innocent man, Richard Jewell, and that tragedy is what this film attempts to shed light on.”

“I realize my opinions about Kathy, based on my own independent research, may differ from others involved with the film, but it was important to me to my my own position clear.”

Source: deadline.com

RICHARD JEWELLOLIVIA WILDE
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Olivia Wilde In ‘Richard Jewell’ Twitter Frenzy
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