Leaving the MLK Project, Oliver Stone says King’s Family is “Suffocating” the Truth

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By Greg B.

Oliver Stone who has made several blockbuster films, including; JFK, Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, and Nixon is no stranger to controversial biopics.However it appears that Mr. Stone has had a change of heart when it comes to producing the film about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Stone took to Twitter to explain his side of the story and shed some light onto why he dropped the project. Per his Twitter account, Stone said;

Sad news. My MLK project involvement has ended. I did an extensive rewrite of the script, but the producers won’t go with it.— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone)

The script dealt w/ issues of adultery, conflicts within the movement, and King’s spiritual transformation into a higher, more radical being — Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone)

I’m told the estate & the ‘respectable’ black community that guard King’s reputation won’t approve it. They suffocate the man & the truth. — Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone)

I wish you could see the film I would’ve made. I fear if ‘they’ ever make it, it’ll be just another commemoration of the March on Washington— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone)

Martin, I grieve for you. You are still a great inspiration for your fellow Americans—but, thank God, not a saint.— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone)

The tweets revealed a controversial direction that Stone was planning to take in the film, it also appears that King’s family rebuffed these ideas by Stone.

Chime in, do you feel as though a biopic done in this manner and showing King in this light is acceptable?

Greg B., is a financial professional and native Ohioan who is the writer here. I am an avid reader, coffee connoisseur and dog lover. Follow me on Twitter @love2edify.

Side Note from the editor:  Dr. King’s life has been portrayed as a strong record on civil rights and a struggle to fight against racism and to promote equality.  But there are other less-than-flattering portrayals of Dr. King.  So, the question appears to be one of whether or not Dr. King’s legacy should be preserved to present him as a near-perfect human being, or should America be given the opportunity to see his imperfect side?  Also, is Oliver Stone the right man to make this film.  These are questions for readers as well.

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  1. Ppl wake up anytime you place a black man/woman on a pedestal you have some white person/persons come along to say wait a minute he/she has this flaw or that flaw. I agree with a previous post tell the truth about the real history of black ppl. Tell how its true that we’re the original men and women on this planet. Tell how everyone alive any race from any continent have traces of blackness in their dna! Lets start making movies about blackppl being a peaceful race a highly educated race a more enduring race. Black ppl wake up and learn who you are and start acting like we suppose. Take back our true identity! Stop acting like niggas/niggers! Remember white ppl created this word to degrade and devalue you/us as a whole. In order for us to stop acting like niggas/niggers we first have to stop referring to one another as niggas/niggers!

  2. I have no problem with telling Dr. King’s story. I just don’t think Stone is the person to do it. If we insist that our history be told truthfully, we need to insist that it “ALL” be told in truth. Nothing you can say about Dr. King will diminish his legacy. In all honesty, it enhances it. He was a “MAN” with all the flaws and greatness of men. Dispite his flaws, he rose to the elevate the world by his words and deeds. It was his flaws that made him human. It was his “HEART and SPIRITUAL CONNECTION to GOD” that made him GREAT. Always tell the truth of history. It is that TRUTH that will enable our children to fully understand and appreciate who they are and admire their greatness.

  3. Mr. Stone does not realize that this man was their father. He should listen to their input. MLK, JR is real not fictional. Mr. Stone is more interested in the story than the person, and, his children want to focus on him as a PERSON, their father. I don’t think Mr. Stone or the children want to come together so maybe it is time to move on…there are other directors.

  4. Dr. King was a man and a prophet. He was not Jesus. He was a normal human being who had a brilliant mind.

    He was not different from the Kennedys, Thomas Jefferson, Moses, David or anyone. So if Dr. King sinned while leading the civil rights movement, he just committed a sin like other sinners.

    But the important thing is when justice cried out in the cities, he answered, when Americans were denied equality, he answered, when four little girls were murdered in church, he answered and when garbage workers asked for his help, he answered.

    When you think of Dr. King you should think of Moses who sinned, you should think of David who sinned and you should think of your sins.

    In the future if something is revealed about Dr. King’s sins, so what and who cares. We will not and do not see Dr. King as a sin free God. He was not the Christ: he was a man. No one should deceive himself and should not be deceived by others.

  5. Yes, Dr. Martin Luther King was an “extremely” great man. Was he God, no. Did he have affairs, yes. Was he still not a great man, YES! What continues to plague the black community, and I am an
    African American, is our failure to come to grips with TRUTH. No matter how great, no matter how painful.

    As long as we continue to worship far too many political leaders as the Alpha and Omega, we will fail and continue the wilderness experience. Can we say Kwame Kilpatrick, Monica Conyers, Jesse Jackson and many, and many more political “failures” on local levels in most major urban cores. Many more positive contributions outweigh the bad, but we seem to want to hold on to fairytale illusions as it relates to truths regarding the African American community. You can not change what you fail to acknowledge and deal with. That includes good, bad and ugly truths.

    That being said, perhaps the project may be better served with a black producer. How about a Spike Lee, joint production!!!

  6. I am glad that Oliver Stone dropped the project. He would have painted Dr. King in a light that would have been negative. He used the term” respectable blacks”. What did he mean by that? Are the other black disrespectable? That is why he would have damaged Dr. King’s image.

    I am glad Oliver Stone withdrew. The King family should never have considered him in the first place.

  7. Peter D.Slaughter

    Big %%$# !!! deal. Does this phony want black people to cry ?
    Maybe he want’s black people to say ” oh great white man movie maker ” We’s some good happy darkies so please massa make a’s movie’s about our MLK Jr. massa ”
    ” We’s just love’s when’s you’s make’s movie’s about us’s,cause’s we’s get’s to tap dance sing’s and tell’s joke’s for you’s massa.
    Forget this &&&^% !!!

  8. I see no relevance in such a film. Most of us are already aware of Dr. King’s indiscretions, but there is really no point in highlighting the dirty details of his life for the sake of entertainment. Usually the wrong you’ve done will overshadow the good you’ve done in people’s minds so why contribute to that negative effect in this regard? Leave Dr. King’s legacy alone. Those who are curious about the dirty details, you can read all about it – Google it…go to the library…get a damn book! Elizabeth said it best, “Oliver Stone is more interested in the story than the person”. In current times with slavery being renamed in the history books as the ‘Triangle Trade’, to resemble some minor incident of the past, why would anyone advocate for the making of this film? Are we that okay with dumbing down the facts of an American atrocity on one hand, but find it acceptable that history writers, film makers and the like have no qualms about diminishing the character of our forefathers? Is nothing sacred any more? What happended to the pride of our race that was so prevalent when Dr. King was alive? SMDH

  9. If there was a movie to be made about Martin Luther King Jr ,i’d rather see Spike Lee on the project and not Oliver Stone.

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