"Lincoln" shows two Connecticut congressmen voting against the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery — but all four of the state's representatives voted "yea"
Connecticut Rep. Joe Courtney isn't happy with the facts in "Lincoln" — and he wants director Steven Spielberg to publicly acknowledge the mistake before the Feb. 24 Oscar telecast, and correct it before the film goes to home video.
The Democratic congressman watched the film over the weekend, and was surprised to see, in the scene where Congress votes on the 13th Amendment to ban slavery, two representatives from his home state rejecting abolition.
So, he looked it up. Indeed, records from the House of Representatives' archives show all four of the state's congressmen voted "yea" on the amendment that outlawed slavery in January 1865.
"In a movie based on significant real-life events — particularly a movie about a seminal moment in American history so closely associated with Doris Kearns Goodwin and her book, 'Team of Rivals,' accuracy is paramount," he wrote in an open letter on his official website to the Oscar-nominated Spielberg on Tuesday.
"Placing the State of Connecticut on the wrong side of the historic and divisive fight over slavery is a distortion of easily verifiable facts and an inaccuracy that should be acknowledged, and if possible, corrected before ' Lincoln' is released on DVD."
The movie has racked up 12 nominations for this year's Academy Awards, including for Best Picture and Best Director. DreamWorks did not immediately respond to requests from TheWrap for comment.
Courtney praised the film's beautiful cinematography and "tremendous" performance from star Daniel Day-Lewis. But he said, "When two of three members of the Nutmeg State’s House delegation voted to uphold slavery, I could not believe my own eyes and ears.
"How could Congressmen from Connecticut — a state that supported President Lincoln and lost thousands of her sons fighting against slavery on the Union side of the Civil War — have been on the wrong side of history?"