First lady defends 'American Sniper' at veterans event - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

First lady defends 'American Sniper' at veterans event

Posted: Updated:
First lady Michelle Obama speaks during the launch event for "Got Your 6," a multifaceted program that includes encouraging film and television to include characters who are veterans, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. (AP) First lady Michelle Obama speaks during the launch event for "Got Your 6," a multifaceted program that includes encouraging film and television to include characters who are veterans, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. (AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama urged Hollywood to give a more accurate portrayal of veterans and defended the Oscar-nominated "American Sniper," which has received criticism for its depiction of war.

Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for best actor for his portrayal of the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, joined Obama and media heavyweights in Washington, D.C., on Friday to launch "6 Certified" with representatives from Warner Bros., National Geographic Channels and the Producers Guild of America.

The initiative will allow TV shows and films to display an onscreen badge that tells viewers the show they're watching has been certified by the group Got Your 6, which derives its name from military slang for "I've got your back." To be approved, the film or show must cast a veteran, tell a veteran story, have a story written by a veteran or use veterans as resources.

"We hope our country will welcome back our veterans — not by setting them apart but by fully integrating them into the fabric of our communities," Mrs. Obama said.

Mrs. Obama also came to the defense of "American Sniper" — about Kyle, considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. It has become a box-office sensation and has strong supporters but has also weathered a growing storm of criticism that the film glorifies murder and serves as war propaganda.

"While I know there have been critics, I felt that, more often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences that I've heard firsthand from military families over these past few years," she said.

Chris Marvin, managing director of Got Your 6 and a former U.S. Army officer and Blackhawk helicopter pilot, said their campaign isn't hoping to show veterans in a good light but in an honest one.

"Most Americans tell us that they only see veterans portrayed as broken or as heroes who walk on water in film and television," he said by phone. "We're missing something in the middle. Veterans are everyday people.

"They're your next door neighbor who helps you bring your garbage cans back when they blow away. They're your kids' fifth-grade math teacher. It's the person running for city council," he added. "You see them every day in your own life but you don't see them on film or television."

The Got Your 6 group was launched in 2012 to enlist Hollywood in the effort to discourage stereotypes and promote more accurate representation of the 2.6 million soldiers coming home over the past 10 years. Surveys have found that many Americans presume veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, are homeless or are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The group has taken lessons from other successful efforts to change national viewpoints, including increasing gay rights, reducing teen pregnancies, encouraging colonoscopies, improving animal rights and reducing drunken driving. It has identified Hollywood as an engine of cultural change.

"This is more of a challenge than anything else. We're challenging the entertainment industry — myself included — to live up to the responsibilities inherent in the powers we have and with the reach that we have," said Charlie Ebersol, a producer and creator of the "6 Certified" program.

Ebersol said films like 1987's "Full Metal Jacket" by Stanley Kubrick and Clint Eastwood's new "American Sniper" would likely be eligible for certification because they portray veterans accurately, even if the soldiers in those films aren't representative of the population of veterans.

Mrs. Obama cited TV shows including "Nashville" and "Doc McStuffins" as ones that share stories of "our veterans in new and meaningful ways." She said telling veterans' stories honestly makes for "tremendous TV and movies" and "are good for business as well."

Ebersol had his own list of shows with positive veteran portrayals, including the Jay Pritchett character in "Modern Family," Sam Waterston's portrayal of veteran Charlie Skinner on "The Newsroom" and Seth Rogen's guest role as a veteran on "The Mindy Project." In all them, being a veteran wasn't their defining characteristic.

"We have a real opportunity to go way beyond the platitudes of the entertainment industry. We love to say, 'I support the troops!' and 'I've got a yellow ribbon!' but there's an actual, tangible way to make a difference. That's what the challenge is here."

___

Online: http://www.gotyour6.org

___

Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • Alleged Weinstein victim: Tough part ahead with his defense

    Alleged Weinstein victim: Tough part ahead with his defense

    Saturday, May 26 2018 3:54 PM EDT2018-05-26 19:54:26 GMT
    (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews). Harvey Weinstein, center, leaves with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman, right, after posting bail at Manhattan's Criminal Court, Friday, May 25, 2018, in New York. Weinstein was arraigned Friday on rape and other charges in the f...(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews). Harvey Weinstein, center, leaves with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman, right, after posting bail at Manhattan's Criminal Court, Friday, May 25, 2018, in New York. Weinstein was arraigned Friday on rape and other charges in the f...
    A woman who claims she was a victim of Harvey Weinstein in two incidents in the 1990s said alleged survivors she's in touch with feel "elated" at his surrender and arrest Friday, but predicted he'll now "play hard... 
    A woman who claims she was a victim of Harvey Weinstein in two incidents in the 1990s said alleged survivors she's in touch with feel "elated" at his surrender and arrest Friday, but predicted he'll now "play hard and dirty.". 
  • Anne Hathaway Rewatches Her First Commercial

    Anne Hathaway Rewatches Her First Commercial

    Saturday, May 26 2018 1:01 AM EDT2018-05-26 05:01:26 GMT

    'Ocean's 8' star Anne Hathaway's first commercial can hardly be considered acting. Mainly because, for the first few hours on set, she didn't realize the cameras were rolling.

     

    'Ocean's 8' star Anne Hathaway's first commercial can hardly be considered acting. Mainly because, for the first few hours on set, she didn't realize the cameras were rolling.

     
  • Study offers new look at why our brains evolved to be so big

    Study offers new look at why our brains evolved to be so big

    Friday, May 25 2018 9:56 PM EDT2018-05-26 01:56:27 GMT
    (Oscar G. Mason/J.C. Dalton/Philadelphia, Lea Brothers & Co. via AP). This 1885 photo shows a side view of a human brain. In relation to body size, our brains are huge, about six times larger than one would expect from other mammals. And this three...(Oscar G. Mason/J.C. Dalton/Philadelphia, Lea Brothers & Co. via AP). This 1885 photo shows a side view of a human brain. In relation to body size, our brains are huge, about six times larger than one would expect from other mammals. And this three...
    A new study suggests our brains evolved to be so big largely to cope with the environmental demands our ancestors faced. 
    A new study suggests our brains evolved to be so big largely to cope with the environmental demands our ancestors faced. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.