Selma director fights back against Lyndon B Johnson controversy

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tags: LBJ, Selma

Related Link Historian:  What Selma gets wrong

The director of Oscar-tipped civil-rights drama Selma has mounted a fierce defence of the film’s historical credibility following complaints from an aide to former US president Lyndon B Johnson.

Ava DuVernay, whose film was nominated for four Golden Globe awards earlier this month, was criticised in a Washington Post opinion piece by Johnson’s top domestic adviser, Joseph A Califano Jr. “The makers of the new movie Selma apparently just couldn’t resist taking dramatic, trumped-up licence with a true story that didn’t need any embellishment to work as a big-screen historical drama,” he wrote, adding that the film should not be considered for awards season recognition.

Califano Jr continued: “As a result, the film falsely portrays President Lyndon B Johnson as being at odds with Martin Luther King Jr and even using the FBI to discredit him, as only reluctantly behind the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and as opposed to the Selma march itself. Contrary to the portrait painted by Selma, Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr were partners in this effort. In fact, Selma was LBJ’s idea, he considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement, he viewed King as an essential partner in getting it enacted – and he didn’t use the FBI to disparage him.”

Read entire article at The Guardian

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