By EW Staff
June 22, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Readers wrote back from the front lines with divided reactions to our Pearl Harbor cover story and review (#598, June 1). ”Congrats to Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer for not downplaying what really happened on Dec. 7, 1941,” wrote Diane Ward of San Luis Obispo, Calif. Robert Berman of Highland Park, Ill., countered, ”Nothing’s offended me so deeply as the [film’s] one-sided portrayal of the Japanese.” Speaking of taking offense, Joe Lieberman’s entertainment ratings crusade also split the vote. ”More caution should be given to the way products are promoted to children,” said Ed Myers of Springfield, Ill. Cynthia Walsh of Valley Stream, N.Y., disagreed: ”Parent your own children and let the adults make their own decisions.”

‘Harbor’ Hits

Pearl Harbor is an American film, made for hardcore biased American audiences. The film is not meant to be even-handed in its judgment of Japanese actions before, during, and after the attack. Pearl Harbor stereotypes all Japanese as being enemies of the United States. The studio could feel a backlash from Asian-American civil rights organizations that have voiced alarm over the potential hatred that may come from this film. For Japanese and Japanese Americans residing in the U.S., this film may lead to a renewal of stereotyping and hatred. Let’s hope that one biased film doesn’t reopen a 60-year-old wound. LEE RICHERSON Woodbridge, Va.

As a U.S. sailor, I’m ashamed of EW’s lack of respect and patriotism by the words chosen to advertise Pearl Harbor on your cover (”Stuff blowing up!”). Whoever came up with that needs a good dose of reality. I suggest they talk (and actually listen!) to a WWII veteran who survived the horror of losing his shipmates and watching his ship sink on Dec. 7, 1941. America didn’t lose ”stuff” that day. They lost sailors and soldiers, brave men who were carrying out the plan of the day not knowing that before the morning was over they would be either dead or trapped inside their sinking ships waiting to be rescued or waiting to drown. ALESCIA L. KRETSCHMER Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

I read with interest your Pearl Harbor article by Jeff Jensen (#599, June 8). Although I’m too young to have experienced Pearl Harbor, I’m very interested in the incident now after viewing the film. Many critics and viewers commented that the love story drags the film down. This is the reason we care about what happens to the characters during the attack sequence. I have the utmost respect for those involved, yet a fiction film must have a hook to draw the viewer in. Kudos to Michael Bay and his cast for bringing alive a time that I knew very little about, and for doing what fictionalized film accounts do: raising my interest in the real incident. ASHLEY ARGO Houston

Senator Clean

Your interview with Sen. Joe Lieberman left me confused by his Mr. Clean stance (Biz). Lieberman claims that his daughter got him into crusading against the entertainment industry when she was 5 years old and watching TV shows like Married…With Children that he didn’t think were good for her. As a Democrat, mother of two, and former writer for Married…With Children, I admit we may have aimed low with a lot of the comedy on Married… but we were never aiming for an audience in training pants. As a responsible parent, why was he simply watching her watch it? It’s a parent’s place to make choices for his children, not the government’s. I don’t need the distinguished gentleman from Connecticut telling me how to raise my kids in California. NANCY NEUFELD CALLAWAY Los Angeles