Damien Chazelle, director of the upcoming movie First Man, defended the decision to not include a scene portraying the iconic moment the American flag is planted on the moon.
Variety reports that Chazelle released a statement Friday explaining why he “chose not to focus” on one of the most memorable and remarkable moments in American history.
“In ‘First Man’ I show the American flag standing on the lunar surface, but the flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments of the Apollo 11 lunar EVA that I chose not to focus upon,” Chazelle said.
“To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is no. My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon–particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours,” Chazelle added.
First Man, which tells the story of Neil Armstrong and the first moon landing, has attracted controversy for its decision not to show the scene of the American flag being planted on the moon.
Legendary Air Force pilot Gen. Chuck Yeager also responded to the filmmakers rewriting history, saying, “That’s not the Neil Armstrong I knew.”
When First Man star Ryan Gosling, who is Canadian, was asked about it, he said that the moon landing, an American achievement, “transcended countries and borders.”
Gosling also called the moon landing a “human achievement” instead of just an American achievement but said that because he was Canadian, he may be suffering from “cognitive bias.”
Sen. Marco Rubio also slammed the omission of the flag-planting, saying, “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.”
Chazelle’s support of progressive values is well known. Last year, he suddenly joined Twitter to accuse President Donald Trump of “openly endorsing Nazism and white supremacy.”
The Oscar-winning director also encouraged people to donate to Black Lives Matter and Planned Parenthood.
Chazelle’s tweeting was short-lived, however. He has not tweeted since last October.