Earlier this week, Olivia Wilde stirred controversy regarding comments she made about her portrayal of the journalist, Kathy Scruggs, in the new film directed by Clint Eastwood, Richard Jewell.
E! Online reported that Olivia clarified her position on the character as well as the movie, following her Deadline interview in which she alluded to a sexual relationship between Scruggs and the FBI agent portrayed by Jon Hamm.
During her conversation with Deadline earlier this week, Wilde claimed the world was still coming to terms with the new way female characters are presented on screen. According to the actress,” in the past, many of them were “quote-unquote (un)likable.”
Wilde added that society often uses an action or character trait of a female character as a way to either criticize the entire project or the character specifically, insinuating the same thing doesn’t happen to male characters or men.
One of the things I love about directing is the ability to control the voice and message of the film. As an actor, it’s more complicated, and I want to share my perspective on my role in the film “Richard Jewell”.
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) December 12, 2019
On her Twitter account, which you can see in the post above, Olivia clarified her remarks and stated that she didn’t believe Kathy Scruggs traded her body and sexuality for tips. Olivia went on to say that during her research for the role, she never found anything like that, and didn’t want to minimize Kathy’s work at all.
She doesn’t believe “sex-positivity and professionalism” have to be mutually exclusive from each other. Kathy was a modern and “professional woman” and her personal life never should take away from what she accomplished, Olivia explained.
According to USA Today, Scruggs, the character Olivia portrayed in the movie, passed away in 2001. Earlier this month, the publication, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, claimed Olivia and the creators of the movie managed to turn Kathy into a “sex-trading object in the film.”
The organization went on to demand the Warner Brothers Corporation to release a letter revealing there was no sexual relationship between Scruggs and a federal agent, and that the contents of the film were exaggerated for entertainment’s sake.