If you're thinking it's too early in the week for a celebrity to say something stupid and ill-thought out, then think again. This time, the person in the hot seat is director and producer Michael Moore and the medium, as always, is Twitter. It's amazing how 140 characters can inspire so much scandal. According to tweets on Sunday, Moore thinks that snipers are cowards, which was his way of giving a review of the film American Sniper that everyone would remember. The Bradley Cooper film won at the box office over the weekend, but Moore's declaration that he is neither a fan of the film or the real-life sniper upon whose life the film is based rubbed a lot of people the wrong way for a very understandable reason.
"My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse," said Moore in the first of two tweets explaining why he felt that snipers like Cooper's Chris Kyle are, well, cowards. "But if you're on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who've come 7K miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor."
As a result, Moore's name has been trending on Twitter all throughout Monday morning as people express their outrage with him for insulting the American military who fight hard to defend the country, and Moore, from threats to national security. Of course, it's Twitter, so the justified criticism was not without its own offensive slant. If half of the people calling out Moore are to be believed, then he's not allowed to criticize anything because he's "fat" or "can't do a single sit-up." (I am not making these up, as a simple glance into his trending topic would reveal, and it's saddening that people would resort to such petty insults when there's a larger issue here.)
However, I can't say I disagree with the anger at Moore for coming after an American war hero. It always seems very easy to say that war, or aspects of war, are unnecessary when we're safely at home being protected by those people risking their lives and doing things that they, in any other circumstances, would refuse to do. It was offensive for Moore to use American Sniper as a jumping off point to criticize the military in such a way. Criticize the movie, criticize the characters, or even criticize Chris Kyle specifically — but don't generalize an entire group based on the actions of one. Many people might be dead because of the actions of the military, but many people are alive because of their actions, too.
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures