Olivia Wilde Clarifies Her Stance on Controversial Portrayal of Journalist in Richard Jewell

Olivia Wilde is clarifying her statement regarding her portrayal as Kathy Scruggs in the film Richard Jewell. Keep reading to see her personal statement.

By Vannessa Jackson Dec 12, 2019 11:34 PMTags
Olivia WildeAndrew H. Walker/Deadline/Shutterstock

Olivia Wilde is providing a little more context to her comments about her controversial portrayal of journalist Kathy Scruggs in the new Clint Eastwood directed film Richard Jewell

Comments made by the actress for an interview with Deadline have been taken in a way Wilde did not intend. In the film, it is alluded to that a relationship Scruggs was having with an FBI agent, played by Jon Hamm, may have been professionally inappropriate. 

"I think that we are still struggling with allowing for female characters who aren't entirely quote-unquote likable," Wilde told Deadline previously. "If there's anything slightly questionable about a female character, we often use that in relation to condemn that character or to condemn the project for allowing for a woman to be impure in a way. It's a misunderstanding of feminism to assume that all women have to be sexless. I resent the character being minimized to that point."

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The Booksmart director took to Twitter on Thursday to further clarify her sentiments on the film in a long thread. "Contrary to a swath of recent headlines, I do not believe that Kathy 'traded sex for tips,'" she shared. "Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had. That would be an appalling and misogynistic dismissal of the difficult work she did."


"The perspective of the fictional dramatization of the story, as I understood it, was that Kathy, and the FBI agent who leaked false information to her, were in a pre-existing romantic relationship, not a transactional exchange of sex for information," she continued. Wilde has always been an outspoken advocate for women, and went on to share why she thinks it's important to speak up. 

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"My previous comments about female sexuality were lost in translation, so let me be clear: I do not believe sex-positivity and professionalism are mutually exclusive," she explained in the thread. "Kathy Scruggs was a modern, independent woman whose personal life should not detract from her accomplishments."

Richard Jewell is in theaters on December 13

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