Pressure mounts on Spielberg to change Lincoln

Ben Arnold
Yahoo UK Movies News
18 February 2013

The pressure is mounting on Steven Spielberg to correct the factual mistake made in his Oscar-nominated biopic 'Lincoln'.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has now joined the voices in favour of the director either re-editing or re-dubbing a scene in which the state of Connecticut is seen to vote against the abolition of slavery, when in fact they voted for it.

[Related story: Lincoln error accuses state of being pro-slavery]

Despite the mistake, it was announced last week that the film is to be sent to middle schools and high schools across the US to be used as a teaching aid.

“I’m a princess-and-the-pea on this issue, but I think Spielberg should refilm the scene or dub in 'Illinois' for 'Connecticut' before he sends out his DVDs and leaves students everywhere thinking the Nutmeg State is nutty,” she wrote.

The film's writer Tony Kushner has said that it is acceptable to 'manipulate a small detail in the service of a greater historical truth. History doesn’t always organize itself according to the rules of drama. It’s ridiculous. It’s like saying that Lincoln didn’t have green socks, he had blue socks'.

But Dowd adds that such inaccuracies inflamed her 'pet peeve about filmmakers who make up facts in stories about real people to add “drama”, rather than just writing the real facts better'.

Democratic congressman for Connecticut Joe Courtney has also called for the film to be changed, saying: “They were trying to be meticulously accurate even down to recording the ticking of Abraham Lincoln’s actual pocket watch. So why get a climactic scene so off base?”

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