So Clint Eastwood is a Racist (in Gran Torino) After All?

October 10, 2008
Source: USA Today

Clint Eastwood

Who would've thought that the most secretive project in Hollywood would've been a Clint Eastwood movie? This isn't actually about Eastwood being a racist in real life, this is about his next film, Gran Torino. In about three months time we'll see two complete Clint Eastwood films hit theaters, including Changeling in the next month, and Gran Torino after that. This was first announced early in the year, but no one knew what it was actually about. As time went on, rumors popped up stating it was another Dirty Harry or just a movie about a grumpy old man, but now we have some solid information from Eastwood himself.

Following the debut of Changeling at the NYFF, Eastwood talked about his character in Gran Torino, as reported by USA Today. The film apparently "slams both prejudice and political correctness" and his character, Walt Kowalski, is described as unflattering and potentially controversial. "I'm a weirdo in it. I play a real racist… But it also has redemption. This Hmong family moves in next door, and he has been in the Korean War, in the infantry, and looks down on Asian people and lumps everybody together. But finally they befriend him in his time of need because he has no relationship with his family."

Although this is finally some clarification on the character and a brief look at the story, it's all still a bit vague. I guess we'll just have to hold out until we get a trailer (or some other first glimpse at the film), which hopefully won't be too much longer. For reference, we previously discovered that the title Gran Torino comes from this: "his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in cherry condition." Apparently Warner Brothers still wants to get this out in theaters sometime in December, which seems like a rather monumental task this late in the game.

But is the world really ready for two complete Clint Eastwood movies within a few months of each other? I'm already predicting one will be a hit and one will be a flop, no matter how good they actually are. I just don't think the world can handle two Eastwood movies in such rapid succession. Which will it be?

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...what the deuce?!

Itri on Oct 10, 2008


Dumb question. Let's get all the Eastwood we can while he's still around.

Scott on Oct 10, 2008


Not only will I see the films but I'll queue-up the all Dirty Harries and the westerns in my collection!

Joe on Oct 10, 2008


"I just don't think the world can handle two Eastwood movies in such rapid succession." Yeah, it's a lot to ask for audiences to have to subject themselves to not one but two films made by one of the most legendary figures in human history and the one of the greatest, most prolific filmmakers ever.

Cameron Cubbison on Oct 10, 2008



REAL6 on Oct 10, 2008


4 and 5: Damn straight!!!

Roy on Oct 10, 2008


Clint Eastwood is the best.

Joshua on Oct 10, 2008


why the dig about him being racist.

Jont on Oct 10, 2008


Look at the title again #8

Red Buttons on Oct 10, 2008


wow...really poor choice for an article title...

Evo on Oct 10, 2008


Need I remind you of Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima?

Peloquin on Oct 10, 2008


It's a catchy title #10! And I didn't say in Gran Torino in it... Not my fault if you can't read?

Alex Billington on Oct 10, 2008


You sound like a petulant little girl every time you defend yourself on this site

Cameron Cubbison on Oct 10, 2008


you look at the title again #9 just because spike lee whats 1 black guy for every 10 white guys in a movie period doesn't mean clint eastwood is a racist for not hitting that mark billington was trying to be funny with a lame joke. i really dont care either way to be honest

Jont on Oct 11, 2008


I'm looking forwards to seeing both films. Eastwood is a good director. Its a shame it took so long for him to hit his stride, but I'm glad he has.

moif on Oct 23, 2008


I'd rather see Clint Eastwood Movies rather than the crap that's been put out now. His movies have story to them and it's not all hyped up with sex crap.

CB on Oct 26, 2008


Oh, and the title of this article needs work. Prejudging the movie and not seeing the underlaying story behind it is a failure on the writers part.

CB on Oct 26, 2008


"And I didn't say in Gran Torino in it… Not my fault if you can't read?" And it's not my fault that you can't write...

Evo on Oct 30, 2008


Clint is so cool. I am gonna see this one as soon as it comes out. I was on the set one day. I got invited by someone in his film crew. It was filmed all around Metro Detroit this August. I am a modern artist, by the way, so I hope you will check out my art. Clint scanned me and my buddy as he walked past once. It was pretty cool to see him squinting my way. I guess he had to make sure I was just ugly, and not bad......*s* Peace out, Mike.

Mike Wrathell on Nov 14, 2008


I saw the movie. This is the most insulting movie to asians. It make seem like idiots unwilling to stick up for themselves and tell Clint that he shouldn't be saying derogatory comments about their race. I was expecting Clint to change as he grew fond of the kid but right till the end of the movie he had derogatory nicknames for his asian teen friend. Eastwood's turned senile. I would never expect him to make a movie so insulting to EVERY ethnicity out there....most of the insults directed towards asians. I can't believe so many people in the entertainment industry don't see this. The actors who did this movie are insulting their own race. Latins vs. asians...asians vs. latins...blacks vs. whites....whites vs blacks.....etc. etc. Pathetic. RIP Eastwood.

noname on Dec 29, 2008


@ 20... I believe you missed the point...Eastwood was playing a character which wouldn't have been nearly as effective had he not been a racist. Also, you can't forget that his lack of respect for others was a sign of endearment and not an insult. Remember his scenes with his barber? This man was most likely his best friend and he called him a drunken mick. It was his way of conversing with those closest to him. Also, the reason he focused so much on Asians was because of his experience in the Korean war. I don't know about you, but most elderly people I know who participated in a 20th century war don't think too fondly of the side they were fighting against (as I'm sure the same goes for how other countries portray America after joining them on a battlefield). I'm just saying that you can't judge Eastwood by this film's character because that's exactly what it is...a character. Without the racism this film would have flopped and with it comes Oscar potential because he took otherwise "scary" words and degraded them to an old lonely bigot as a way of showing that there's a reason for the way society molds a person's beliefs. Eastwood was just toying with the audiences emotions by introducing an initially disgusting individual and then showing a softer side of him.

peloquin on Dec 31, 2008


@20 You need to grow a few inches mate before you can start talking *big* and wishing one of the most accomplished human beings on the planet be "RIP" -- piss off and die yourself noname, cause none cares for your pathetic viewpoint.

GrowAnInch on Dec 31, 2008


What a lame blog, way to delete my last post. Either way, Most prolific human being in history is Clint Eastwood? You boys need to get an education. I hardly find someone who made important films to be that big of a figure except within commercialism. Why don't you pick up a book for a change, read about some other important figures like John Locke who was the basis for the founding Fathers views on liberty and property? The guy is one of the reasons for the French revolution and the American revolution. Oh but wait, some senile racist who makes films is prolific? give me a break. Just because he nurtured the American dream of cowboys and Indians doesn't make his view of the world prolific. In fact his macho man attitude is all that is wrong with the US. The American bully is an outdated archetype in todays world that needs a little more diplomacy and a little less nobrain brute force. In short Eastwood can shove his racist dogma up his ass. Ever think about why there are no black men in Letters from Iwo Jima, but all of a sudden he's saving a poor white girl from black thugs in movies? riiight. So it's ok for black men to be gangsters but not war heroes?

yo on Jan 7, 2009


lol I'm with you there yo. Exactly! I didn't miss the point and neither did all the asians I know who aren't happy with the movie. Say what you want "growaninch". I could care less. It's not going to stop me from speaking my mind or stop anyone else either. I'm referring to the portrayal of asians. Eastwood made a comment and the asians didn't even stand up for themselves...they acted like it was all right. ONE comment was made that his character is racist and that's it. EVERY line Eastwood said had to have a racist comment. What's funny isn't the movie, but all the people BLIND as to how wrong the movie is. I wonder if people would be as oblivious if African Americans were Eastwoods main target in the movie instead of Asians. I bet people would be A LOT more understanding if Eastwood insulted African Americans. ALL ALL ALL races should be respected. Movies like this make me disgusted. What's more disgusting are the blind ignorant people out there who have no sensitivity to other races out there.

noname on Jan 11, 2009


Clint Eastwood Clint at his best like always..Again taking #1 in the actors award Blacks and Mexican's are the majority of all gangta's "fool" so wuz yo problum nigga?

Clint Eastwood: Fan on Jan 19, 2009

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