Oscars 2015: 'American Sniper' "Hero" Lyric Doesn't Make Cut for Opening Song

The lyrics, according to Playbill, originally included a line referencing "a hero of Afghanistan." The final version includes a nod to "a sniper in a combat zone.”

A day after the Oscars, conservatives on talk radio and elsewhere were not lacking for material they found worthy of criticism, including a blogger that singled out Neil Patrick Harris' opening song lyrics referencing American Sniper.

According to a draft of the lyrics provided by Oscar songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez to Playbill for a Feb. 22 article, the Boyhood and Sniper reference by Harris at one point read: "A boy we watch become a man … a hero of Afghanistan."

What was heard sung in the show was “A boy we watch until he’s grown … a sniper in a combat zone.”

Christian Toto, of Hollywoodintoto.com, was the first to note the last-minute change, and the lyrics are still online at Playbill.com. An Academy spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. 

Toto notes that Kyle did serve in Iraq as opposed to Afghanistan so a tweak might have been necessary for the sake of accuracy, but he also insinuates that there was no reason to scrub the word "hero," except maybe for political purposes, given Hollywood liberals object to that word being applied to Kyle.

American Sniper was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, but won in only one category -- sound editing. The movie was popular among conservatives but controversial in some progressive circles for glorifying the war in Iraq. Michael Moore and other Hollywood liberals panned the film.

Outside of that, the primary source of Oscar angst among conservatives on Monday was Patricia Arquette’s claim of sexism in America, with some also maligning singers John Legend and Common for their assertions that African Americans are still engaged in a fight to maintain their right to vote. Also, Glenn Beck called parts of the show “obnoxious" and Rush Limbaugh spoke of "an endless parade of misery."

The theme Monday seemed to be: If celebrities insist on using the Oscars as a platform for politics, why not say something of great importance?

“The insanity of this hobnobbing and how grotesque it was … What about equal rights in the Middle East?” Beck asked. “What about what is happening right now to the Christians, to the Jews, to the Muslims, to the women and children who are being slaughtered, crucified, enslaved and sold as prostitutes? What about them? Thanks a lot Hollywood. Go watch Birdman.”

Beck, though, also played several minutes of Lady Gaga singing a medley of songs from The Sound of Music, then called her “an absolute artist. She is a genius.” Hear the audio below.

Later Monday, nationally syndicated radio host Dennis Prager echoed the theme that Hollywood was engaging in triviality and America-bashing.

“Talk about a group that is really suffering – it’s women in America,” he said sarcastically after reporting on Arquette’s plea for equal pay.

“You had a chance to talk to hundreds of millions of people in over 100 countries,” Prager said of Arquette. “What did you decide to talk about? With women being traded as sex slaves in the tens of thousands under radical Islamic rule in the Middle East and Africa. And what did you decide to talk about? Wage inequality in America. You’re a fool. You’re a moral fool.”

Then the host laid into Legend and Common for ignoring fatherless families in black communities, which he considers a more severe problem than modern-day racism.

“Did you see how many of the actors, actresses, illustrators, documentarians who won an Oscar, how many thanked their parents? Would most black Americans be able to thank their parents for anything?” he asked “No, they’d be able to thank one parent, overwhelmingly, likely, the mother. Is that not more significant? Is than not truth-telling? Instead, you get this lie that there is some great attempt to undermine blacks’ ability to vote because you’ll need an ID.”

He summed up his analysis of Arquette, Legend and Common with this: “It gives you an idea, among other things, of how provincial these people are. They have no sense of human suffering. None. They are spoiled brats. That’s what they are. That’s the disgusting report from last night at the Oscars.”

Limbaugh not only called the show “boring” but also said, in reference to the majority of the nominated films, that the evening “was nothing more than an endless parade of misery, yet again receiving awards for it … The constant liberal state. Everybody's miserable, everybody's unhappy, everybody's agitated, and here's who portrayed it the best. Here's who inspired us to be miserable better than anybody else did.”

Naturally, Limbaugh also had some harsh remarks about Arquette, and said her display at the Oscars will make it more difficult for him to enjoy CSI: Cyber, a CBS show that stars Arquette and premieres March 4.



“Darn it. Why did she have to do this? Now I don’t know that I want to watch CSI: Cyber,” Limbaugh said during a segment where he played Arquette’s remarks. “She just started shouting about women’s rights and made it look like women are the most discriminated against. Now, in Hollywood, it’s true. She had a point about Hollywood.”

He also said Meryl Streep has stolen Arquette’s thunder because she responded so enthusiastically when Arquette said, “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

“As soon as Patricia Arquette delivered the money line, Meryl Streep just popped up like she was a jack-in-the-box,” Limbaugh said. “There is an actual term for it. ‘Stealing focus.’ And it’s taboo. It’s considered bush league.”

He concluded with: “To show that they're good liberals and that they're all about fairness and that they are devoted to equality, why don't male stars say, 'I am not going to do this movie unless my female costar earns as much as I do, even if that means I will reduce my demand.' Why don't they do that? They're the leaders. They're the ones with all the answers. They're the big critics. They're the ones that recognize racism all over the place, these libs. They're the ones that recognize sexism all over the place.”

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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