By Emma Kaden
The Moon landing represents one of the greatest American achievements in history. It symbolizes America’s victory in the Space Race and the classic American “pioneer spirit.” Americans (not to mention people worldwide) watched spellbound as American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the Moon. It was a landmark event in American history, and it paved the way for the United States to become the undisputed champion in technological and scientific innovation. (Sorry, Soviet Union.)
And that’s exactly what it was: a purely American achievement. However, the new movie “First Man,” a biopic about Armstrong, omits one of the most significant aspects of the landing: the planting of the American flag. Ryan Gosling, who stars as Armstrong, explained the decision to not prominently feature the planting of the American flag: “I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it.”
After news of the decision to overlook the flag moment went viral, many Americans were shocked, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who tweeted that the decision was “total lunacy,” and “a disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together. The American people paid for that mission, on rockets built by Americans, with American technology & carrying American astronauts.”
Buzz Aldrin also weighed in on the situation on Twitter, posting pictures of the American flag prominently displayed on the Moon with the hashtags #proudtobeanAmerican and #onenation.
So what’s the deal? Why in the world would Hollywood rewrite the Moon landing? It seems like Hollywood has taken “based on a true story” to a whole new level. Hollywood has a long history of being a little loose with the facts—but that was almost always to add dramatic effect. However, this instance of fudging the facts seems to promote Hollywood’s anti-American agenda. Ever since the McCarthy hearings and the Hollywood blacklist of the Cold War era, Hollywood has been increasingly fond of liberal doctrine and opposed to American exceptionalism.
However, Hollywood in and of itself thrives because of American exceptionalism. The very concept of Hollywood would not exist if not for American greatness. So why are Hollywood movie producers disparaging the country that affords them the opportunity to make movies that the entire world can’t live without?
Perhaps there are no right answers to these questions. Perhaps we will never know why, one after the other, Hollywood films are forsaking the recognition of American achievement. However, one thing we do know is that this must come to an end. “Human achievement” or not, the United States should be given credit for the Moon landing. No matter what Hollywood wants you to believe, the American flag was planted on the Moon—with pride.