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Actress Olivia Wilde pointed media fury at director Clint Eastwood after journalists complained about the portrayal of reporter Kathy Scruggs in the upcoming film “Richard Jewell.”

Wilde, who plays Scruggs in the film, posted a lengthy Twitter thread on Thursday night taking issue with the suggestion that Scruggs trades sex for news tips in the Eastwood-directed film.

The actress said she did not understand her portrayal of Scruggs to include such an “appalling” and “misogynistic” implication and emphasized that she did not direct the film, Eastwood did, and she has little control as an actress.

“One of the things I love about directing is the ability to control the voice and message of the film,” Wilde started the Twitter thread. “As an actor, it’s more complicated, and I want to share my perspective on my role in the film ‘Richard Jewel.’”

“I was asked to play the supporting role of Kathy Scruggs, who was, by all accounts, bold, smart, and fearlessly undeterred by the challenge of being a female reporter in the south in the 1990s,” the actress continued. “I cannot even contemplate the amount of sexism she may have faced in the way of duty.”

“As a child of journalists myself, I have deep respect for the essential work of all in their field, particularly today when the media is routinely attacked and discredited, and regional papers like the AJC are disappearing on a daily basis,” Wilde said.

“Contrary to a swath of recent headlines, I do not believe that Kathy ‘traded sex for tips’. Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had. That would be an appalling and misogynistic dismissal of the difficult work she did,” she explained. “The perspective of the fictional dramatization of the story, as I understood it, was that Kathy, and the FBI agent who leaked false information to her, were in a pre-existing romantic relationship, not a transactional exchange of sex for information.”

Wilde then emphasized: “I cannot speak for the creative decisions made by the filmmakers, as I did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted, but it’s important to me that I share my personal take on the matter.”

Wilde included a “sex positive” message in the thread, suggesting that it is completely ethical to have sex with sources.

“My previous comments about female sexuality were lost in translation, so let me be clear: I do not believe sex-positivity and professionalism are mutually exclusive,” she wrote. “Kathy Scruggs was a modern, independent woman whose personal life should not detract from her accomplishments.”

The actress noted that the reporter “unfortunately became a piece of the massive puzzle that was responsible for the brutal and unjust vilification of an innocent man, Richard Jewell, and that tragedy is what this film attempts to shed light on.”

“I realize my opinions about Kathy, based on my own independent research, may differ from others involved with the film, but it was important to me to my my own position clear,” Wilde ended the thread.

Soon after posting the thread, Detroit Free Press pop culture critic Julie Hinds said Wilde’s posts raise “questions that Clint Eastwood should answer.”

See Wilde’s full thread, below:

  • memphismom says:

    She was okay with the movie until her social peers critiqued her role……………….can’t tell me that she had never seen the finished product until this week and had not objected to the portrayal before now. She is not really all that great as an actress and as she ages I would think she may want to think before she speaks.

  • Wilson Mowles says:

    Soon after posting the thread, Detroit Free Press pop culture critic Julie Hinds said Wilde’s posts raise “questions that Clint Eastwood should answer.”

    Did she actually talk to those who were involved in the case or this just based on her own personal bias and feminist opinions?

  • CF