American Sniper is currently the #1 movie in America and managed to make an impressive 89 million on MLK weekend. Despite the box office success, American Sniper received a huge amount of backlash from the usage of fake babies to fabricated stories about the real-life American Sniper Chris Kyle, whose memoir served as the source material for this movie. The most troubling response to the film is the amount of racist Arab/Muslim sentiment.
To give you an idea of why the content is so controversial, here’s just a few excerpts from the aforementioned memoir:
From these excerpts alone, it seems Chris Kyle viewed Muslims and Iraqis more like enemies to shoot in a video game. That is indeed racist. The American Sniper film had the option to show this side of Chris Kyle, but when Kyle’s father personally told director Clint Eastwood and actor Bradley Cooper “disrespect my son and I’ll unleash hell on you,” the filmmakers decided to make the movie more of a character study.
Anticipating a possible backlash, Bradley Cooper urged viewers not to use the film to answer deeper questions such as the “political conversation about whether we should or should not have been in Iraq, whether the war is worth fighting, whether we won, whether we didn’t, why are we still there.” However, audiences could not simply take the film lightly, especially with the negative political stance towards the Iraqi people:
American Sniper is disgusting and depicts Arabs as being the real villains. Seeing the theater clap when an Arab was killed was disgusting.
— antho (@anthonymahfood_) January 19, 2015
E X A C T L Y why I have zero time for American Sniper. Look what it feeds. pic.twitter.com/J7X1XdnWkD
— Cryanne (@LeslieK_nope) January 18, 2015
That’s not even the worst of it. Check out even more racist tweets here.
There is even backlash against the backlash. There are some who think the criticism of American Sniper is unpatriotic. As Sarah Palin puts it, criticizing this film is “spitting on the graves of freedom fighters who allow you to do what you do.”
Sorry Sarah, but this may be a film I’ll skip.