Joe Courtney, Democratic member of the House from Connecticut, was alarmed to find a historical inaccuracy that depicted his home state in a negative light while watching Oscar-nominated film Lincoln.
In the movie, two congressmen from Connecticut voted against the 13th amendment, which would abolish slavery. Courtney was surprised by the vote, and decided to check the facts.
He started with a simple Internet search, according to the AP, which lead to a request for the Congressional Research Service to look into the issue. In fact, all four Connecticut congressmen voted for the amendment to end slavery in 1865.
In a statement to the Hartford Courant, Courtney recommended the movie, saying that the portrayals of major characters was brilliant. However, he said he felt it was a wrong that needed to be righted. Courtney proceeded to write a letter to Steven Spielberg, the film’s director, asking that the movie be corrected before its release to DVD.
“The state’s good name, I personally feel, was tarnished a bit,” Courtney told the Courant.
Claims of historical inaccuracy have plagued several of this year’s Best Picture nominees.
Argo has been the subject of debate over its portrayal of the Canadian and British roles in the rescue of the six who were trapped in Pakistan. In the movie, the U.K. and New Zealand are cited for turning away the refugees. In fact, they housed the Americans initially, before they were moved to the Canadian ambassador’s home.
Bob Anders, played by Tate Donovan in the film, told The Telegraph, “They put their lives on the line for us. We were all at risk. I hope no one in Britain will be offended by what’s said the film. The British were good to us and we’re forever grateful.”
Zero Dark Thirty has also been under scrutiny for its depiction of the 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden. Government officials have questioned the sources that director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal used as informants.