Clint Eastwood shared his true feelings on the current generation, branding them “kiss-a**.” The Hollywood legend went on a real tirade over today’s culture, where “nobody wants to work.”
Clint Eastwood surprised many when he told the LA Times that “he’s not ready to quit” any time soon, and it would seem that one reason he’s still making movies is due to his outlook on the current generation. The Oscar-winning director didn’t hold back when he was interviewed by Esquire Magazine as the discussion turned to his experiences in Hollywood and his personal strong-held beliefs.
“Secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up,” Clint Eastwood said. “That’s the kiss-a** generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a p**** generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.”
The award-winning actor continued, “When I did Gran Torino, even my associate said, ‘This is a really good script, but it’s politically incorrect.’ And I said, ‘Good. Let me read it tonight.’ The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, ‘We’re starting this immediately.’”
Eastwood then lambasted the “p**** generation,” saying, “All these people that say, ‘Oh, you can’t do that, and you can’t do this, and you can’t say that.’ I guess it’s just the times.” The Unforgiven star also blasted the current generation as one where “nobody wants to work.” He explained, “That’s why people are saying, ‘Why should I work? I’ll get something for nothing, maybe.’ And going around and talking about going to college for free.”
In Gran Torino, Eastwood cast newcomer Bee Vang as the Vietnamese teenager who steals his beloved car. Vang later spoke out in a piece for NBC News claiming Eastwood was “mainstreaming anti-Asian racism” in Gran Torino. “At the time, there was a lot of discussion about whether the movie’s slurs were insensitive and gratuitous or simply ‘harmless jokes,’” Vang wrote. “I found it unnerving, the laughter that the slurs elicited in theaters with predominantly white audiences,” Vang said. “And it was always white people who would say, ‘Can’t you take a joke?’”
However, Eastwood thinks much differently about Gran Torino, a film that grossed $270 million worldwide. “I’ll tell you why I liked it, and I think that’s maybe why Americans did, too,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s about a guy who’s a racist, a hard-ass. He didn’t like minorities much, of any kind. But he learns to appreciate people that he really hated.”
Eastwood says his agent didn’t want him to make the movie. “‘The [main character] is kind of a bigot. Why would you want to do that?’ she said,” he recalled, but when co-producer Rob Lorenz showed Eastwood the script, he loved it, “because it’s got a big transition of a person from one extreme to another.” Gran Torino, he says, was made at a time when people were “putting down masculinity.”
Eastwood says he’s played many masculine characters in the past like Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry. “He’s a man who’s been through a lot, but he’s also kind of relentless,” the Million Dollar Baby star said. “People were afraid of crime in those days, afraid to say anything.” Eastwood likens that fear “to the mood in America now” and cites the #MeToo movement.
“The #MeToo generation has its points,” he acknowledged. He appreciated that women “are standing up against people who are trying to shake you down for sexual favors.” He professed no sympathy for Harvey Weinstein or any sexual predators but admitted that he worries that the “presumption of innocence, not only in law but in philosophy” has been lost in accusations of sexual misbehavior.
The Oscar-winning actor says one of his more recent films, Richard Jewell, suffered because it got sucked into a #MeToo-like controversy over its portrayal of Kathy Scruggs, a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The lawyers from the AJC sued Warner Bros., a “baseless” lawsuit, according to Eastwood. They didn’t like that Eastwood portrayed Scruggs as having an affair with a federal agent to get her big scoop on Jewell.
“[Scruggs] had a boyfriend that was a police officer,” Eastwood said. “Well, we just changed it in the story. We made it a federal police officer instead of a local.” The Dirty Harry star claims it was the ruthlessness and sloppy reporting of Scruggs and the AJC that caused Jewell’s ultimate death.
Clint Eastwood also claimed the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is trying to obscure its “guilt” for a “reckless story” that led to the persecution of an innocent man. Eastwood says he wishes Warner Bros. had told the AJC “to go screw themselves.” He also imagines daring the newspaper to sue him, saying: “Make my day!”