Hollywood is packed with big celebrity feuds; however, few reach the point of threatening death. Clint Eastwood, the award-winning director and western movie star, once stated that if acclaimed documentary filmmaker Michael Moore came onto his property, he’d “shoot him”.
While filming the Oscar-winning documentary discussing gun control in the US, Bowling for Columbine, Moore door-stepped actor and National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston. Apparently, Eastwood didn’t take too kindly to the filmmaker’s actions and said some rather extreme choice words. In 2015, at a lunch event at CinemaCon (via Deadline), Eastwood addressed the rumours that he threatened to kill Moore.
“Everyone kept saying I was going to kill Michael Moore, but that’s not true. It isn’t a bad idea.” He said while the crowd reportedly laughed. “I think once, years ago, somebody asked me what would I do if a guy like him came to my house with a whole film crew and started filming away like he did with Charlton Heston. Unfortunately, Charlton Heston was ill at the time with Alzheimer’s. But I thought if somebody was on your property, you could shoot him.”
In a Facebook post, Moore himself addressed the rumours of Eastwood’s threats, writing: “I was a bit stunned to hear Eastwood, out of the blue, make such a violent statement. But I instantly decided he was just trying to be funny.”
Moore went on to clarify that the main objection that he took with Eastwood’s statement was the comment echoes similar jokes from other conservative commentators such as Glenn Beck – who in 2005 made a similar death threat on his radio show, The Glenn Beck Program.
During a May 17 broadcast, Beck ‘joked’ saying: “I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it.”
While Eastwood’s threat of shooting Moore if he came onto his property is by no means as extreme as Beck’s words, it is still understandable why Moore would be concerned about what a public figure with tons of fans can inadvertently inspire.
“This kind of thing wreaked all kinds of havoc in my life because of what this hate speech does to inspire the more deranged among us”. Moore wrote.