Filmmaker Michael Moore confirmed a long-standing story in a post on his Facebook page, saying colleague Clint Eastwood threatened his life in January 2005.
“Ten years ago this past week, Clint Eastwood stood in front of the National Board of Review awards dinner and announced to me and to the crowd that he would ‘kill’ me if I ever came to his house with my camera for an interview,” Moore wrote. “‘I’ll kill you,’ he declared.”
The Washington Examiner reported at the time that Eastwood, who was being honored for his film Million Dollar Baby, slammed Moore for his on-camera confrontation with then-National Rifle Association president Charleton Heston in his documentary Bowling For Columbine.
“Michael Moore and I actually have a lot in common,” Eastwood said from the stage. “We both appreciate living in a country where there’s free expression. But, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera, I’ll kill you.”
Moore corroborated the Examiner‘s story, saying that he laughed nervously along with the rest of the audience, thinking Eastwood was making a joke.
“Having just experienced a half-dozen assaults in the previous year from crazies upset at Fahrenheit 9/11 and my anti-war Oscar speech, plus the attempt by a right wing extremist to blow up my house (he was caught in time and went to prison), I was a bit stunned to hear Eastwood, out of the blue, make such a violent statement,” Moore wrote.
However, he stated, the audience’s mood changed when Eastwood repeated the threat, saying, “I mean it. I’ll shoot you.”
Moore compared Eastwood’s remarks to not only statements made by conservative commentators like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, but the torrent of criticism he has received since referring to snipers as “cowards” in response to Eastwood’s most recent movie, American Sniper.
“This past week or so of hysterical attacks on me only proves that the American lovers of violence and the issuers of fatwas in OUR society haven’t gone away,” Moore wrote. “They are our American Isis – ‘Criticize or mock those whom we deify, like our sainted sniper, and we will harm you most assuredly.'”
While praising Eastwood as a director, Moore called American Sniper “a mess of a film that rewrites history” and “perpetuates a racist sentiment to Arabs.”