‘Richard Jewell’ Writer Defends Film Amid Controversy Surrounding Depiction Of Female Reporter

The Playlist | 12/14/2019 | Charles Barfield
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One of several films opening in theaters this weekend is “Richard Jewell,” from director Clint Eastwood. While the film has been getting pretty solid reviews (including our own), the film about the 1996 Olympics Bombing in Atlanta has found itself in the middle of a shitstorm, courtesy of one scene in the movie involving Olivia Wilde’s character, real-life journalist Kathy Scruggs.

In an attempt at brevity, I’m going to try to sum up this situation involving “Richard Jewell” as quickly as possible. For longer accounts, feel free to read our previous articles about the situation.

Film - Accusations - Security - Officer - Richard

Basically, the film focuses on the wrongful accusations lobbed at security officer Richard Jewell during the 1996 bombing aftermath, where the FBI and media (specifically the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) painted him as a possible terror suspect. Eventually, he was found to be innocent and doing something heroic, but the stigma of being accused followed him for years after. The controversy recently involves how Eastwood’s film insinuates that Kathy Scruggs (AJC reporter played by Wilde) traded sexual favors with an FBI Agent (Jon Hamm) for the inside scoop about Jewell. This has been vehemently denied by the AJC and folks related to Scruggs (she, sadly, has passed away). But still, the controversy lives on.

Speaking to Deadline, “Richard Jewell” screenwriter Billy Ray offered his take on the situation, and perhaps unsurprisingly, he puts...
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