Olivia Wilde Stands by Kathy Scruggs Depiction in ‘Richard Jewell’ Amid Backlash

Addressing criticism surrounding the scene that suggests the journalist slept with a source, the leading actress of the biopic voices out why she finds sexist to focus on it.

AceShowbizOlivia Wilde has defended her portrayal of a real-life journalist, in the film “Richard Jewell“, from criticism that it hints she slept with a source.

Wilde plays Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs, who died in 2001, in Clint Eastwood‘s film about the security guard who discovered a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but was wrongly accused of having been behind the attack.

In the movie, it is strongly implied Scruggs trades sex for information with an F.B.I. agent, a suggestion that has been strongly denied by her newspaper’s current editor-in-chief Kevin Riley.

Defending the film’s depiction of Scruggs, Wilde tells The Hollywood Reporter: “I have an immense amount of respect for Kathy Scruggs. She’s no longer with us, she died very young, and I feel a certain responsibility to defend her legacy – which has now been, I think unfairly, boiled down to one element of her personality, one inferred moment in the film.”

She went on to call the focus on the scene sexist and insisted few people care when male characters use their sexual charms to obtain information.

“We don’t say James Bond isn’t a real spy because he gets his information sometimes by sleeping with women as sources,” she adds. “This is very specific to female characters, we’ve seen it over and over again, and I think that Kathy Scruggs is an incredibly dynamic, nuanced, dogged, intrepid reporter.”

“By no means was I intending to suggest that as a female reporter, she needed to use her sexuality. I come from a long line of journalists – my mom’s been a journalist for 35 years.”

Jewell, played by “BlacKkKlansman” actor Paul Walter Hauser in the movie, was initially hailed as a hero for raising the alarm and helping clear the area, but Scruggs’ reporting revealed F.B.I. had installed him as a suspect. He was later cleared of any involvement.

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