Journalist Portrayed in 'The Front Runner' Asks Filmmakers to Label Depiction "Essentially a Fiction"
“I wonder if Steve Zissis ever went to the trouble of finding a photograph of me, much less researched my reputation," Tom Fiedler wrote of his depiction in the film.
Tom Fiedler, a former journalist who covered presidential candidate Gary Hart's campaign in 1988, sent a letter to the filmmakers behind The Front Runner asking that they "publicly acknowledge that the film’s depiction of me is essentially a fiction," The New York Times reported Sunday.
In the biopic, which stars Hugh Jackman as Hart, Fiedler is played by Steve Zissis. Fiedler claims that the actor never contacted him regarding the role.
“I wonder if Steve Zissis ever went to the trouble of finding a photograph of me, much less researched my reputation," Fiedler wrote. "Had he done so, he would have known I’ve never worn a beard; that I take pride in my appearance and in my physical fitness.”
Fiedler, now a dean of communications at Boston University, claimed the pic's negative portrayal of him could influence potential students away from registering at the university.
In an email exchange with The Front Runner director Jason Reitman following the film's release, Fiedler raised concerns about his depiction, to which Reitman replied, "I’ve always had empathy for what you must have been thinking as this all unfolded.”