Neil Armstrong Biopic “First Man” Battling Anti-American Label

Astronaut's sons dispute criticism after star Ryan Gosling's ill-received interview.

If the United States of America could put a man on the moon, you’d think we could avoid a controversy about just how American the moment is depicted in an upcoming biopic of Neil Armstrong.

But director Damien Chazelle’s First Man has come under fire from detractors after news broke that the movie doesn’t show the moment that Armstrong planted the American flag on the surface of the moon during his iconic Apollo 11 mission. That outrage stemmed in large part from star Ryan Gosling’s comments at a Venice Film Festival press conference that Armstrong’s 1969 small step/giant leap, “was widely regarded not as an American, but as a human achievement.”

That certainly angered Senator Marco Rubio, who took to Twitter to complain: “This is total lunacy. And a disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together.”

But Armstrong’s own sons, Rick and Mark, who have seen First Man, released a joint statement defending the filmmakers, insisting “there are numerous shots of the American flag on the moon.”

“We do not feel this movie is anti-American in the slightest,” they wrote.

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