Michael Moore Ignites Backlash From American Sniper Fans, Veterans, Conservatives After Controversial Comments

Michael Moore and Bradley Cooper in American Sniper
Michael Moore is now speaking about the Bradley Cooper-starring American Sniper Aaron Harris/Getty Images; Keith Bernstein/Warner Bros.

More controversy for Michael Moore. The Bowling for Columbine filmmaker provoked backlash on Sunday, Jan. 18, when he made comments about snipers in war. 

"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," Moore tweeted. "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."

Moore's comments were seen by many as a reaction to the just-released Oscar-nominated drama American Sniper, which stars Bradley Cooper as the late U.S. military sniper Chris Kyle. The movie maker himself, however, denied that he was referencing the movie, which was directed by Clint Eastwood and raked in an astounding $90 million on its opening weekend.

"Hmm. I never tweeted 1word bout AmericanSniper/ChrisKyle. I said my uncle killed by sniper in WWII; only cowards would do that 2 him, others," he tweeted on Monday morning following a backlash from fans who took issue with his words. "So ppl want me 2tweet something bout American Sniper? Great acting! Powerful message. Sad ending. There… Oh, and Iraqis are called 'savages' throughout the film… Sorry to have to state the obvious again: Invading a country that hasn't attacked you is illegal & immoral. History will judge us harshly."

The Oscar winner, 60, continued to expound on the subject in an extended Facebook post

"My dad was in the First Marine Division in the South Pacific in World War II," he began. "His brother, my uncle, Lawrence Moore, was an Army paratrooper and was killed by a Japanese sniper 70 years ago next month. My dad always said, 'Snipers are cowards. They don't believe in a fair fight. Like someone coming up from behind you and coldcocking you. Just isn't right. It's cowardly to shoot a person in the back. Only a coward will shoot someone who can't shoot back.'"

He went on to deny again that his initial words were about American Sniper, and gave an added review of the film, praising Cooper while offering some criticism for Eastwood. 

"Awesome performance from Bradley Cooper. One of the best of the year. Great editing. Costumes, hair, makeup superb!" he wrote. "Too bad Clint gets Vietnam and Iraq confused in his storytelling. And that he has his characters calling Iraqis 'savages' throughout the film. But there is also anti-war sentiment expressed in the movie. And there's a touching ending as the main character is remembered after being gunned down by a fellow American vet with PTSD who was given a gun at a gun range back home in Texas — and then used it to kill the man who called himself the 'America Sniper.' Also, best movie trailer and TV ads of the year."

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