Iconic American astronaut Buzz Aldrin was photographed wearing a t-shirt of an astronaut standing next to the American flag amid backlash over the upcoming film First Man, which omits the planting of the U.S. flag on the Moon.
Explaining the decision to omit the American flag-planting scene, Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, who stars as astronaut Neil Armstrong, said that the landing “transcended countries and borders” and that it was a “human achievement” rather than an American one.
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” Gosling said. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”
In a tweet, Aldrin wore a t-shirt with the tagline “Future Martian,” as well as an image of an astronaut standing next to the American flag.
Always fun to visit my friends @KellySlater, John Moore & Co at their Outerknown clothing line party. Is it time for a space attire line yet?! Ὠ😎 #spacesuitsaretrendy #roadtoapollo50th #5decadesofapollo pic.twitter.com/I34t42hbxf
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) September 1, 2018
The photos provoked interest from Aldrin’s fans, who wondered whether the t-shirt was a reflection of his views on the upcoming film in which he is played by Corey Stoll.
So how does Buzz feel about the Neil Armstrong film?
— Andrew McLaughlin (@macnificentone) September 1, 2018
Aldrin indicating disapproval of the film’s anti-American sentiment would provide further embarrassment for its director Damien Chazelle, who has reportedly portrayed frontman Neil Armstrong as a “liberal progressive,” “anti-Trump,” and “non-flag waiver.” When asked his opinion about such a portrayal, legendary pilot Chuck Yeager said that it would not reflect the Neil Armstrong he knew.
That's not the Neil Armstrong I knew
— Chuck Yeager (@GenChuckYeager) August 31, 2018
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was one of many figures to criticize the decision, denouncing it as “total lunacy” and a “disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together.”
This is total lunacy. And a disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together. The American people paid for that mission,on rockets built by Americans,with American technology & carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission. https://t.co/eGwBq7hj8C
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 31, 2018
Following Armstrong’s death in 2012, Barack Obama described him as one of the “greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time.”