Hollywood screenwriter takes out ads to counter Moore's message
April 16, 2003
WASHINGTON — Dan Gordon watched Michael Moore’s tirade at the Academy Awards and decided to take an ad out in a Hollywood trade paper, in hopes of showing servicemembers that not everyone in show business agrees.
The Hollywood screenwriter hated that Moore used a telecast he knew was being sent to warfighters overseas, saying it showed “a total disregard for his betters.”
“I was mightily [upset] by Michael Moore, by what he said at the Academy Awards,” Gordon said. “It was being beamed to the troops all around the world, like the Super Bowl. [His statement] was a grandstand, [B.S.] play, and I was incensed by it.”
Moore was accepting the award for best documentary for his film “Bowling for Columbine.”
“We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president,” Moore said. “We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.
“We are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you,” Moore said to loud boos from an audience of 3,500, including many of Hollywood’s top stars.
So Gordon, who co-wrote the screenplay for “The Hurricane,” which starred Denzel Washington as boxer Ruben Carter, took action.
“I took [the ad in the Hollywood Reporter] out so everyone in Hollywood could sign on to something,” he said. “I wanted it to appear in the Hollywood Reporter without [my] name so it wouldn’t divide people in any way, and so it didn’t seem like I was looking for a gig.”
Gordon signed a version that is to appear in Stars and Stripes to let readers know that it was a member of the entertainment industry supporting the troops.
It reads in part:
“To all our troops and their families: Thank you for your courage, your service and your sacrifice. God speed you all safely home again.”
Gordon dispelled the notion that Moore has a moral obligation to use the opportunity of the Oscars to speak his mind.
“He’s got a platform — he has movies, he has a publisher for his books. It’s not the place for it,” he said.
And as for using the freedoms, including speech, that GIs are fighting to protect, Gordon said Moore’s diatribe was misguided.
“We all have rights. Do you have a right to fart in an elevator? Yes. Is it crude? Yes.”