Arts & Entertainment

Buzz Aldrin Isn't Happy That 'First Man' Doesn't Show This Iconic Moon Landing Scene

Ryan Gosling, Damian Chazelle, and Neil Armstrong's family have defended the decision
IMAGE Getty Images/NASA
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Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, has waded into the argument over Damien Chazelle's decision to cut the planting of the American flag on the lunar surface from his telling of the Apollo mission, First Man, and he's clearly pretty unhappy about it.

In a hashtag rampage on an Instagram post of himself looking at the American flag planted on the moon's surface, Aldrin said he was "#proudtobeanAmerican", and added "#freedom #honor #onenation #Apollo11 #July1969 #roadtoApollo50".

If you've missed this outrage then, in brief: Damien Chazelle decided First Man should focus on the human achievement of getting to the moon rather than turning it into an jingoistic American chest-thump-a-thon, so its scenes on the lunar surface don't feature a grandstanding flag-plonk moment.

That turned into a cause célèbre for the American right, despite Neil Armstrong's family pointing out that there are actually some shots of the American flag on the moon's surface and Chazelle saying that it wasn't a political statement. It got as far as Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who described the idea of portraying the "one giant leap for mankind" as exactly that as "total lunacy".

Ryan Gosling hit back, saying that the moon landing "was widely regarded not as an American, but as a human achievement", and the Armstrong family have defended Chazelle's decision too. Then there's the fact that none of the people moaning have actually seen the film yet, as it's out in October.

Overall, this is less the Buzz Aldrin who cheerily reminded Homer Simpson that "second comes right after first", and exactly the Buzz Aldrin from 30 Rock who screamed "I WALKED ON YOUR FACE" at the moon.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.ukMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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