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Howard Dean was a guest on Friday’s Real Time With Bill Maher, where he responded to Maher’s claim that war vet Chris Kyle was a “psychopath” by saying that the Oscar-winning film taps into the audience’s anger. “There’s a lot of anger in this country, and the people who go see this movie are people who are very angry,” the former National Democratic Committee chairman said.
In response, actor Gary Sinise made it clear Monday on Twitter that he doesn’t agree with this assessment. “I saw American Sniper and would not consider myself to be an angry person,” Sinise wrote. “You certainly have a right to make stupid blanket statements, suggesting that all people who see this film are angry, but how is that helpful sir?”
The former CSI:NY star, who is a noted Hollywood conservative, questioned whether Dean assumes that everyone at Warner Bros. and everyone who made the film, including director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper, are also angry.
“I will admit that perhaps somewhere among the masses of people who are going to see the film, there may be a few that might have some anger or have been angry at some point in their lives, but with all due respect, what the hell are you talking about?” Sinise said. He added that sniper Kyle’s story “deserved to be told.”
Dean appeared Tuesday on MSNBC’s Hardball to say he was sorry for his comments. “I’ll apologize to the veterans,” he said. “I haven’t seen the movie, and I think I was wrong.” He added: “I make no apologies to all the thousands of right-wing nutjobs who have been Twittering me with nasty language, but I do apologize for the veterans.”
Hollywood continues to be divided about American Sniper, which has already grossed more than $200 million and earned six Oscar nominations, including one for best picture. Seth Rogen said that the film reminded him of propaganda, while Michael Moore said he was taught that snipers are “cowards.”
Jan. 28 at 1:50 a.m. Updated with Dean’s apology.
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