Ava DuVernay Responds to LBJ Aide’s Criticisms of ‘Selma’

This photo released by Paramount Pictures shows, David Oyelowo, center, as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Carmen Ejogo, right, as Coretta Scott King in the film, "Selma," from Paramount Pictures and Pathé. The Civil Rights march drama is up for eight NAACP Image Awards honoring diversity in the arts, including outstanding motion picture; lead actor for David Oyelowo; supporting actor for Andre Holland, Common and Wendell Pierce; supporting actress for Carmen Ejogo and Oprah Winfrey; and director for Ava DuVernay. The awards will be presented in a Feb. 6 ceremony airing on the TV One channel. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Atsushi Nishijima)
This photo released by Paramount Pictures shows, David Oyelowo, center, as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Carmen Ejogo, right, as Coretta Scott King in the film, "Selma," from Paramount Pictures and Pathé. The Civil Rights march drama is up for eight NAACP Image Awards honoring diversity in the arts, including outstanding motion picture; lead actor for David Oyelowo; supporting actor for Andre Holland, Common and Wendell Pierce; supporting actress for Carmen Ejogo and Oprah Winfrey; and director for Ava DuVernay. The awards will be presented in a Feb. 6 ceremony airing on the TV One channel. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Atsushi Nishijima)
This photo released by Paramount Pictures shows, David Oyelowo, center, as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Carmen Ejogo, right, as Coretta Scott King in the film, “Selma,” from Paramount Pictures and Pathé. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Atsushi Nishijima)

 

(Entertainment Weekly) – In the wake of criticisms of Selma’s characterization of President Lyndon B. Johnson, director Ava DuVernay argued that people should “interrogate history.”

In a Dec. 26 opinion piece for The Washington Post, Joseph A. Califano Jr., who was Johnson’s top assistant for domestic affairs, wrote that Selma “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.” Califano argued that “Selma was LBJ’s idea” and concluded that “the movie should be ruled out this Christmas and during the ensuing awards season.”

On Sunday, Selma director DuVernay took to Twitter to combat Califano’s claims. She wrote that the “notion that Selma was LBJ’s idea is jaw dropping and offensive to SNCC, SCLC and black citizens who made it so.” She added:

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