Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has spoken out against “American Sniper,” both the movie and Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL sniper with the highest confirmed kill count in military history.
“A hero must be honorable, must have honor. And you can’t have honor if you’re a liar,” Ventura told the Associated Press. “There is no honor in lying.”
Ventura, a former Navy SEAL himself, has not seen the Iraq War movie directed by Clint Eastwood and is not planning to.
“It’s as authentic as ‘Dirty Harry,'” Ventura said, referencing criticism that it falsely depicts the 9/11 terrorist attacks as the cause of the war.
Ventura’s position is not surprising, since he filed a defamation lawsuit against Kyle’s estate and won $1.8 million last year.
Kyle claims in his book “American Sniper,” on which the movie is based, that he knocked out a man at a California bar in 2006 for saying the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” in Iraq. Kyle later identified the character he nicknamed “Scruff Face” as Ventura during several media appearances to promote the book.
Ventura said it didn’t happen, and a jury believed him. HarperCollins removed the passage from the book, but that didn’t stop Ventura from filing a lawsuit against the publisher, too, which is still pending.
Ventura is the latest in a long line of public figures that have spoken out against, or in support, of the Best Picture nominee that is polarizing audiences, while raking in blockbuster box office figures. To date, the drama starring Bradley Cooper as Kyle has grossed over $257 million worldwide, and is on track to blow past the competition this weekend, as well.