Olivia Wilde has taken to Twitter to assert that she had "no say" in how her role as the late reporter Kathy Scruggs was portrayed in the new Clint Eastwood true-life drama Richard Jewell.
The film tells the story of the real-life security guard who discovered a bag filled with explosives at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and helped to save hundreds of lives in evacuating the area before the bomb went off. Jewell was hailed as a hero - but within days he became an FBI suspect with his life torn apart when his name was leaked to the media.
The thriller has sparked controversy by implying that Scruggs, who broke the story that Jewell was under investigation at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, traded sex for information from an FBI agent, played by Jon Hamm in the film.
Actress and Booksmart director Wilde has now issued a lengthy statement about the issue in a Twitter thread.
She began by writing: "One of the things I love about directing is the ability to control the voice and message of the film. As an actor, it's more complicated, and I want to share my perspective on my role in the film "Richard Jewell"."
One of the things I love about directing is the ability to control the voice and message of the film. As an actor, it's more complicated, and I want to share my perspective on my role in the film "Richard Jewell".— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) December 12, 2019
Describing Scruggs as "bold, smart, and fearlessly undeterred by the challenge of being a female reporter in the south in the 1990s", Wilde continued: "I cannot even contemplate the amount of sexism she may have faced in the way of duty.
"Contrary to a swath of recent headlines, I do not believe that Kathy "traded sex for tips". Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had. That would be an appalling and misogynistic dismissal of the difficult work she did.
"The perspective of the fictional dramatization of the story, as I understood it, was that Kathy, and the FBI agent who leaked false information to her, were in a pre-existing romantic relationship, not a transactional exchange of sex for information.
"I cannot speak for the creative decisions made by the filmmakers, as I did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted, but it's important to me that I share my personal take on the matter."
She concluded: "I realize my opinions about Kathy, based on my own independent research, may differ from others involved with the film, but it was important to me to my my own position clear. (sic)"
Richard Jewell is slated for release on Friday, January 31, 2020.