A journalist for the U.K.’s Independent found himself seething Sunday night after Gary Oldman won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Winston Churchill in the film, “Darkest Hour,” and had the nerve to thank Winston Churchill himself.
Immediately after Oldman left the stage, Ryan John Butcher, hopelessly triggered, expressed his frustration at Churchill, calling the man whose leadership in World War II likely helped to save western civilization, a “war criminal” and a “racist.”
Lest it be said that we were glossing over history by ignoring some of Churchill’s less noble moments, the World War II prime minister, who was well known for speaking his mind, made regrettable remarks about the Indian uprising, including that he “hated” Indians.
But most people recognize that Churchill’s hot temper was a small price to pay for his leadership during World War II, facing down the Nazis even as most of his countrymen — and particularly those in power — contemplated turning the U.K. over to Adolf Hitler. Oldman’s performance depicts Churchill’s first days on the job, where he fought that precise uphill battle with no support from anyone.
Fortunately, Twitter is full of amateur history scholars with a better grasp on Churchill than Mr. Butcher, and Butcher was quickly schooled.
Yes, how dare he pay tribute to the man who stared down fascism when real heroes like [checks notes] the most successful people in Hollywood should have been praised. pic.twitter.com/d40gvW3ELj
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) March 5, 2018
Really asinine. Churchill was wrong on many things, but right on the most important issue of his lifetime, which directly contributed to the demise of the least inclusive regime of the 20th century. Relative progress = good. Absolute judgement : not even Lincoln would survive.
— Ross Taylor (@rosstaylor90) March 5, 2018
@ryanjohnbutcher the guy fought the nazis. Are you now against a guy who actually fought nazis? Like the ACTUAL nazis, the ones who murdered Jews, Slavs, gays, disabled, really?! pic.twitter.com/yb9gRDSTdR
— PavelP. (@Pavelprisyazhn1) March 5, 2018
Butcher has since made his account private.