Clint Eastwood Denies Advocating You-Know-What

Clint Eastwood Denies Advocating You-Know-What January 28, 2005

I’m not going to spoil the ending to “Million Dollar Baby.”

But for those of you who know how it ends, and think that the film is advocating such behavior, listen to Clint Eastwood’s sharp retort:

In his interview with the Los Angeles Times, Eastwood says:

I’m just telling a story. I don’t advocate. I’m playing a part. I’ve gone around in movies blowing people away with a .44 magnum. But that doesn’t mean I think that’s a proper thing to do.

Exactly. And I don’t think the movie advocates what he does in this case either. It portrays him as a man who makes a decision that devastates his conscience. The narrator describes him to another character as an admirable man, but I don’t think the narrator is just singling out that one act. Eastwood’s character makes a rash decision that is motivated by love… even if that love is sorely misguided. It’s motivated by compassion… even if that compassion is poorly employed.

The protests are ridiculous and need to stop. We need to respect art when it offers us important issues to grapple with, important questions to explore. When we declare that art is propaganda and protest it, we’ll have lost our credibility when the real propaganda piece comes along.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Anonymous

    Eastwood may very well not have been personally advocating vigilante justice in the “Dirty Harry” movies he made, but I don’t think there’s much argument that he participated in the glorification of it. To this extent, Eastwood’s defense is, at best, disingenuous.


  • Kolya

    What’s your opinion on what Edelstein wrote in Slate today about Eastwood’s movie?

  • mark

    Clint Eastwood’s sharp retort would carry more weight if there was a chance it was true. His movies in the 70’s were advocating exactly what was portrayed. I have not seen this movie so I don’t know if it advocating for, against, or simply throwing an idea out for consideration, but to say that art is above protest is to play into the hands of propagandist everywhere.

  • Neville

    Amen! I saw this movie and thought, “I want to recommend this to everyone–but so many people will see it as ‘liberal propaganda!'” At first, I felt a certain uneasy, “is this gonna be like a political statement?” but once you see it played out, the film as art does its job and I could not dismiss how much it made me envision, think on and process the whole situation in a much more personal way. I’m so glad someone had the guts to write and say this…I just put it in my top ten and said nothing of it. Oh well. Thanks for the hope. Keep it up.