‘First Man’ Star Jason Clarke: Criticism over American Flag ‘Silly and Naive’

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Jason Clarke, co-star in the upcoming movie First Man, dismissed controversy over the movie’s omission of the planting of the American flag from the moon landing, calling criticism “silly and naive.”

First Man, which tells the story of Neil Armstrong and the moon landing, does not include an image of Armstrong planting the American flag on the surface of the moon.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clarke shrugged off concerns over the flag at the Deauville Film Festival saying, “It’s nonsense, it’s just nonsense. The film itself can be interpreted as patriotic.”

“It’s just silly and naive I think,” said Clarke, who portrays Edward Higgins White, the first American man to walk in space. “Of course it celebrates one of the greatest acts of America and Americans and humanity and mankind.”

Clarke pointed to the achievement being one for “humanity” instead of America echoes comments made by another star in the film, Ryan Gosling.

Gosling, who is Canadian, called the moon landing a “human achievement” and said that it “transcended countries and borders.”

Meanwhile, the director of First Man, Damien Chazelle, said the decision to exclude the flag-planting scene was not a political one.

“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 told Variety.

Chazelle’s own Twitter page shows his deep hatred for President Trump, claiming that Trump is “openly endorsing Nazism and white supremacy.” He also used his following to ask his followers to donate to Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter.

The list of people criticizing the movie’s exclusion of the American flag scene is long, including Sen. Marco Rubio, who called it “total lunacy.”


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