Famed physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a problem with the film Chappaquiddick, and it isn’t related to the period film’s historical accuracy, or its portrayal of former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. Instead, he’s got issues with the lunar phases that were shown in the film’s pivotal moments, and many Twitter users have again taken to social media to call Tyson out for his perceived obsession over scientific accuracy.
In a tweet posted on Thursday morning, Tyson offered his two cents on Chappaquiddick, but instead of talking about the film’s accuracy, its depiction of a historical event, or any of the real-life individuals portrayed in the movie, his Twitter post centered solely on a scientific inaccuracy he spotted, according to a report from the Daily Caller. This inaccuracy was related to the moon’s phase on the evening Kennedy allegedly held off on reporting a fatal car accident he was involved in.
“Chappaquiddick occurred just two days before the first lunar landing. So you’d think the Film producers would get the Moon right for July 18, 1969. Kennedy sees it full, but the actual phase was a four-day old waxing crescent that set long before the midnight tragedy.”
As recapped by The Guardian, Chappaquiddick stars Jason Clarke in the role of Ted Kennedy, and focuses on an incident that took place on July 18, 1969, when the Massachusetts senator’s car crashed into a pond, killing the vehicle’s passenger, 28-year-old aide Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy survived and was able to swim to safety, but allegedly failed to report the accident to authorities, or ask for help at a nearby house for 10 hours.
Tyson’s tweet on Chappaquiddick had him roasted by several followers, including one Twitter user who sarcastically said that the scientist “must be a lot of fun at parties,” and a few others who said that the lunar phases would have been irrelevant in the light of the fatal incident being depicted. As further noted by Twitchy, many social media users criticized Tyson for being too obsessed with small scientific details, and, as they saw it, him paying more attention to scientific accuracy and less attention to the movie’s plot.
I just saw Chappaquiddick last night, so it's funny you mention it now. I would be bothered about the moon phase if I knew what it was supposed to be. I guess full-ish moons are more cinematic, though.— Jennifer DiFatta (@JenDifatta) May 10, 2018
Neil deGrasse Tyson’s comments on Chappaquiddick mark the most recent example of what the Daily Caller described as “petty science-related complaints” about pop culture topics. According to a report from CNET in April, Tyson got a lot of attention after he tweeted that it’s wrong to use the word “awesome” for simpler things, such as good food or television shows. He opined that the word was mainly used in his time for impressive historical events, like the discovery of a cure for polio, or walking on the moon, but was criticized soon after posting the tweet, as many followers felt he sounded too “pretentious,” as previously reported by the Inquisitr.