fact-check
December 9, 2019

Clint Eastwood's newest film has come under fire for its depiction of a real reporter, and now, the newspaper where she worked is demanding an accuracy disclaimer.

In Richard Jewell, Eastwood tells the story of the man who was wrongly suspected of being involved in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing and later cleared. Olivia Wilde plays Kathy Scruggs, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist who reported that Jewell was a suspect. It's implied in the movie that she slept with an FBI agent for information, per The Hollywood Reporter. Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Kevin Riley last month blasted the film for this, saying "there is no evidence that this ever happened, and if the film portrays this, it's offensive and deeply troubling in the #MeToo era." Scruggs died in 2001.

Now, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which is being represented by attorney Martin Singer, is going a step further by demanding Warner Bros. issue a statement "acknowledging that some events were imagined for dramatic purposes" and admitting "artistic license and dramatization" were used, also demanding a "prominent disclaimer" be added to the film itself saying as much, Variety reports.

The newspaper also says Eastwood's film "falsely portrays the AJC and its personnel as extraordinarily reckless, using unprofessional and highly inappropriate reporting methods, and engaging in constitutional malice by recklessly disregarding information inconsistent with its planned reporting."

If Warner Bros. is to add such a disclaimer, the studio doesn't have long to do so, as the film hits theaters Friday. Brendan Morrow

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