Jesse Ventura finally decided to speak out about American Sniper, and Chris Kyle fans probably won’t like what he had to say about the deceased Navy SEAL.
Jessa Ventura, a former Navy SEAL, is never mentioned in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper movie, and his name doesn’t appear in Chris Kyle’s autobiography. However, Ventura successfully sued Kyle’s estate for defamation after the sniper lied about punching him in the face while promoting his bestselling memoir. A jury awarded Jesse $1.8 million.
During a recent interview with the Associated Press, Jesse Ventura talked about the American Sniper movie, and he shared his thoughts about Chris Kyle. Ventura revealed that he won’t be watching the film because he doesn’t view Kyle as a hero at all.
“A hero must be honorable, must have honor. And you can’t have honor if you’re a liar. There is no honor in lying.”
According to Slate, Chris Kyle doesn’t refer to Ventura by name in his autobiography. In a chapter titled “Punching Out Scruff Face,” he claims that he beat the living daylights out of a Navy SEAL (“Scruff Face”) who spoke ill of American soldiers in Iraq. During later interviews, Chris Kyle confirmed that Jesse Ventura was “Scruff Face.” He claimed that Jesse was a laughing stock when he attended a SEAL graduation with a black eye.
However, Ventura took Kyle to court to prove that his tall tale wasn’t true, and a jury awarded the former wrestler $500,000 for defamation and $1.345 million for unjust enrichment. The jury found that Kyle used his lies about Ventura to profit, and now Ventura has filed a similar unjust enrichment lawsuit against American Sniper publisher HarperCollins.
Jesse Ventura’s lawsuit against Chris Kyle isn’t addressed in the American Sniper movie, and the film also avoids tackling Kyle other questionable claims, including a tall tale about using his sniper skills to kill looters during Hurricane Katrina. Screenwriter Jason Hall recently tried to explain why Chris’s tendency to spin stories wasn’t focused on in the movie.
“For people that are wondering about the unverifiable truths, those are all certainly things that we looked into,” Hall told Rolling Stone. “It’s a fascinating element and part of the mystery of this man — but we did our homework. Everything that anyone else is pointing out now, after the movie has come out, we explored as well. As far as the movie was concerned, it wasn’t a part of the narrative of the story we were telling and the desire to make this allegorical for every soldier out there.”
During his AP interview, Jesse said that his personal beef with Chris Kyle isn’t the only reason he doesn’t care to see American Sniper — he’s also disappointed that the movie erroneously ties the war in Iraq to 9/11. The movie seems to suggest that America’s invasion of Iraq was a direct response to the New York City terrorist attacks. However, the reason provided by the Bush administration had nothing to do with 9/11 — the war was over nonexistent weapons of mass destruction allegedly being developed by Saddam Hussein.
“It’s as authentic as ‘Dirty Harry,'” Jesse Ventura said of the film.
Ventura views the movie as a propaganda piece, and many critics agree that it paints the war in Iraq as something that it was not. Vox writer Zack Beauchamp shared his thoughts about the message that American Sniper is trying to convey.
“Once the film has established the invasion as a righteous response to 9/11, which it wasn’t, and the war itself as a black-and-white battle against evil al-Qaeda terrorists, when the truth is far murkier, it then carries that narrative to its logical conclusion: opposing the Iraq War, or even insufficiently endorsing its glory, is tantamount to betrayal.”
However, as the Inquisitr previously reported, director Clint Eastwood doesn’t think that American Sniper glorifies the war — he recently claimed that he believes the movie makes “the biggest antiwar statement any film can.”
What do you think of Jesse Ventura’s thoughts about American Sniper? Is it just a dishonest propaganda piece that glorifies an undeserving man?
[Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty via the Huffington Post]