I’m not going to spoil the ending to “Million Dollar Baby.”

But for those of you who know how it ends, and think that the film is advocating such behavior, listen to Clint Eastwood’s sharp retort:

In his interview with the Los Angeles Times, Eastwood says:

I’m just telling a story. I don’t advocate. I’m playing a part. I’ve gone around in movies blowing people away with a .44 magnum. But that doesn’t mean I think that’s a proper thing to do.

Exactly. And I don’t think the movie advocates what he does in this case either. It portrays him as a man who makes a decision that devastates his conscience. The narrator describes him to another character as an admirable man, but I don’t think the narrator is just singling out that one act. Eastwood’s character makes a rash decision that is motivated by love… even if that love is sorely misguided. It’s motivated by compassion… even if that compassion is poorly employed.

The protests are ridiculous and need to stop. We need to respect art when it offers us important issues to grapple with, important questions to explore. When we declare that art is propaganda and protest it, we’ll have lost our credibility when the real propaganda piece comes along.

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