Entertainment

‘Selma’ Director Ava DuVernay Responds To LBJ Criticisms

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 file photo, Ava DuVernay, left, director of the film "Selma," and cast member, David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr., pose together at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.  The widely acclaimed movie "Selma" about the 1965 Civil Rights movement has disappointed at least one moviegoer: a leading historian of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The director of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, which hosted a major civil rights summit this year that was headlined by four U.S. presidents, said the film that opens in theaters Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014, incorrectly portrays Johnson as an obstructionist to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Ava DuVernay, director of the film “Selma,” and David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr. in the film. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Christopher Rosen, THE HUFFINGTON POST

 

(Huffington Post)—An Oscar contender isn’t an Oscar contender without cries of inaccuracy. That’s where Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” is at right now, as the film has come under attack for its portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In an op-ed published by the Washington Post, Johnson’s former top assistant for domestic affairs, Joseph A. Califano Jr., criticized DuVernay for “taking dramatic, trumped-up license with a true story that didn’t need any embellishment to work as a big-screen historical drama.”

According to Califano, it was Johnson who devised Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama in service of passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. “In fact, Selma was LBJ’s idea, he considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement, he viewed King as an essential partner in getting it enacted — and he didn’t use the FBI to disparage him,” Califano wrote.

 

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