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Oliver Stone: Hollywood Too Politically Correct, ‘Too Fragile, Too Sensitive’
Oliver Stone attends the 2019 Beyond Fest 25th Anniversary Screening of "Natural Born Killers" at the Egyptian Theatre on October 08, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone (“Platoon,” “JFK”) has had enough of Hollywood’s “sensitivity.”

Speaking with The New York Times to promote his upcoming memoir, Stone said the film industry has become too politically correct, “too sensitive,” and “too fragile.” This shift has pushed him into making documentaries instead of narrative-based films such as “Snowden,” about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, which was released in 2016.

“The problem is in Hollywood. It’s just so expensive — the marketing. Everything has become too fragile, too sensitive,” he said. “Hollywood now — you can’t make a film without a Covid adviser. You can’t make a film without a sensitivity counselor. It’s ridiculous.”

When pressed to explain why a “sensitivity counselor” is ridiculous, Stone said, “The Academy changes its mind every five, ten, two months about what it’s trying to keep up with. It’s politically correct [expletive], and it’s not a world I’m anxious to run out into. I’ve never seen it quite mad like this. It’s like an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ tea party.”

“In what respect?” the interviewer, David Marchese, shot back.

“Oh, David, don’t go there. That’s going to be your headline,” responded Stone. “You know, I just read something about how films are going to be very expensive to make now, because you need to take all these precautions, and a 50-day shoot becomes a 60-day shoot, and social distancing for actors. That’s what I’m talking about.”

Asked if he’s “felt marginalized by Hollywood in the past,” Stone said, “I don’t think they think about me. I don’t feel bitter about it.”

“‘Savages’ was my last was my last movie in the mainstream, so to speak,” he continued. “I thought it was mainstream, and Universal did too, up until they distributed it. They decided to move it at the last second from fall to summer. So they put us in the middle of a schedule that was pretty tough.”

“I do still get offered stuff, but I’m not inspired to make a movie,” said the director. “I don’t feel anything inside me, fire for going through that pain and misery. The last film I did was ‘Snowden.’ It was so difficult to make. We struggled to get financing — I believe — because of the subject matter.”

Regarding his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin following the 2016 presidential election, Stone said that the United States put way too much emphasis on Russia’s influence on the election.

“I think he sees American destabilization as a dangerous thing because he thinks about the safety of the world,” Stone said of Putin. “If anything, he would like a balance of power to exist and he would like to have a nuclear treaty with us. It’s very difficult to talk when America doesn’t talk. It hasn’t been dealing honestly with him in a long time.”

When the interviewer suggested that perhaps Stone was being a “useful idiot,” Stone replied that much of the documentary was filmed in 2014 before the election took place.

“Where is it clear that I’m an idiot? I think it’s a very articulate dialogue,” he said. “I would also point out that when we started, which was in 2014 roughly, the relationship with the United States was not as bad as it would become.”

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