Published On: Fri, Aug 31st, 2018

Neil Armstrong biopic ‘First Man’ omits the planting of the American flag on the moon, creating a backlash

The highly anticipated Neil Armstrong, First Man, debuted at the Venice Film Festival and quickly prompted controversy as reports stated that the film omits the erecting of the American flag on the moon. Twitter lit up with backlash and outrage with  #boycottfirstman trending at one point.

Star Ryan Gosling was asked about the glaring omission before leaving the festival and the Canadian defends the move: “I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement and that’s how we chose to view it,” Gosling said, according to The Telegraph. “Also I think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

Gosling said he didn’t think Armstrong “viewed himself as an American hero.”

“From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”


Gosling’s comments did not sit well with many, with the hashtag #boycottfirstman trending on twitter Friday morning. Senator Marco Rubio called the movies choice “total lunacy.”

“This is total lunacy. And a disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together. The American people paid for that mission,on rockets built by Americans,with American technology & carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission. – @marcorubio

“We literally declared a mission to go to the moon to plant the American flag,” The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro added on twitter. “It wasn’t an afterthought. It was the point of the endeavor.”
Weekly Standard editor at large Bill Kristol, suggested that people complain to Universal Pictures about the missing flag-planting scene—and tagged the studio’s Twitter handle. He called the decision a “foolish and pernicious falsification of history,” adding, “I imagine it’s not too late to add a scene to the movie.”

Founder and President of Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness (FLAG) has issued the following statement:

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when Hollywood types take a new opportunity to bash America. That’s old news. But what’s especially infuriating to me, as a recently-minted American originally from Australia, is to see someone like Ryan Gosling come down from Canada and try to “re-educate” Americans on an integral moment in American history. His attitude and that espoused by his movie are doing the worst kind of disservice to this history of America and the world. And as an American, this is my history, and I take that personally.

“It was brave Americans like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins who risked their lives to fly to the Moon. There were American flags emblazoned on their spacecraft and they planted an American flag on lunar ground. Yes, it was an achievement for all mankind, but carried out on mankind’s behalf by intrepid Americans exercising the indomitable spirit that helped forge the greatest nation in the world. Nothing Ryan Gosling or any Hollywood playboy says can change that. I hope this movie inspires people to read about the true heroes – true American heroes – who made that epic journey.”

Fake news?
Well sort of…The film does not have a scene specifically showing the flag being planted. It does, however, show the flag on the moon in multiple background shots.
“I’ve seen FIRST MAN and you see the American flag on the moon in several shots. Maybe wait to actually see something before feigning outrage. These quotes were taken out of context by BI. Also it’s a *movie*. Worry about more important s**t.” – Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern
Here’s how Shapiro elaborated: “…the Left seems to attribute every universal sin to America, and every specific victory to humanity as a whole. Slavery: uniquely American. Racism: uniquely American. Sexism: uniquely American. Homophobia: uniquely American. Putting a man on the moon: an achievement of humanity.”

Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant an American flag on the surface of the moon in July 1969. (NASA)

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight.  A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

Written by Academy Award® winner Josh Singer (Spotlight, The Post), the epic drama of leading under the pressure of grace and tragedy is produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars) through their Temple Hill Entertainment banner, alongside Isaac Klausner (Love, Simon) and Chazelle.  Steven Spielberg, Adam Merims and Singer executive produce, while DreamWorks Pictures co-finances the film.  www.firstman.com

First Man also stars Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Ciaran Hinds, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, and Lukas Haas.

First Man is set to arrive in theaters on October 12.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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