Oliver Stone Criticizes Charges Against Trump

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Critically acclaimed director Oliver Stone – known for his controversial takes on world politics – shared his thoughts on the 91 felony charges brought against former President Donald Trump. While he calls Trump a victim of ‘lawfare,’ it doesn’t make him any more inclined to vote for him this November. Here’s a look at what he said, and why it’s significant.

Who Is Oliver Stone?

A lot of you might not know who Oliver Stone is, so let’s start there. The 77-year-old film director, writer, and interviewer made a name for himself in the late 1970s and was the writer behind one of the most popular movies of all time – Scarface (1983).

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Stone has won four Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award in his career. Outside of his work in film, Stone is widely known for his controversial political views – which he continues to deliver to this day.

Stone Blames Politics Over Trump’s Charges

While promoting one of his upcoming films, Stone took aim at the nature of today’s politics – more specifically, the four criminal cases Trump is involved in right now. He called the charges ‘ridiculous’ and described them as ‘lawfare’ against the former President.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

“Almost 100 indictments against the guy… it’s ridiculous,” Stone said during a recent interview with Agence France-Presse in Paris. “This is all political. They want to put him behind bars, but they’re not going to be able to.”

Won’t Be Voting For Trump Or Biden

He went on to accuse governments around the world of corruption – a fact that has been well documented for years – and vowed he wouldn’t vote for Trump or Biden in the 2024 presidential election, come November.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

“Everyone’s corrupt. Russia runs on corruption, so does Turkey. So does the United States. Corruption is a way of life, but they make it into a political issue now,” said Stone – describing President Joe Biden as a ‘warmonger.’

2020: Calls Trump A ‘Fascinating Dramatic Character’

In July 2020, Stone talked about Trump’s growing popularity in an interview with The Sunday Times. He described Trump as an intriguing character and even admitted to considering him as a potential candidate for a documentary.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

“There’s nothing that could quite capture this fellow. He’s quite a whirlwind, a fascinating dramatic character,” he said. “Shakespearean too, in the sense that he’s so emotional – at times he creates a storm, almost purposely every day, to keep the energy going. He creates a storm inside himself. He’s King Lear in a strange way too – which daughter loves me more?”

2023: Says Voting For Biden Was A Mistake

Despite praising Trump as a fine character, Stone didn’t quite feel like Trump was the right candidate, and he ended up voting for Biden in the 2020 presidential election. In July 2023, nearly three years later, he called that decision a mistake.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/The White House

“If we don’t stop this, what Biden is doing, this guy is – I voted for him – I made a mistake, I was thinking he was an old man now that he would calm down, that he would be more mellow and so forth, I didn’t see that at all,” Stone said on Russell Brand’s Stay Free podcast last year.

Says Former President Is Victim Of Lawfare

While Stone doesn’t plan on voting for Trump this year, he did imply that former President Trump is the victim of ‘lawfare’ – referring to the 91 indictments across four criminal cases in Florida, Georgia, New York, and Washington D.C..

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

Lawfare is the concept of using legal systems and prosecutions to silence an opponent. It’s what we saw Vladimir Putin do with Alexei Navalny for years – eventually leading to Navalny’s death on Feb. 16. Trump’s situation is a lot different, and categorizing it as lawfare is debatable.

Promotes New Film About Brazilian President

Stone said he has been thinking about ‘lawfare’ a lot recently as he finishes filming yet another documentary – this one about Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He gained power in 2002 and won re-election in 2006, but lost in the 2010 election.

Source: Flickr/Casa de America

Lula was convicted of money laundering and corruption in 2017 and disqualified from the 2018 election. He spent 580 days in jail, was released in 2019, and the conviction was nullified in 2021. Last year, he returned to office as President of Brazil.

Stone Wants The World To Know Lula’s Story

In his recent interview with AFP, Stone praised Lula for what he described as an incredible story that most of the world is unaware of. That’s why he felt compelled to direct a documentary focused solely on that story.

Source: Flickr

“The concept of lawfare is all over the world, and it’s been used for political reasons, weaponized,” said Stone. “And so that’s what they did with Lula. They put him in jail and he got out, and he won the election. It was a hell of a story… but people don’t know it, except in Brazil.”

Calls Lula, Castro, And Chaves ‘Humanists’

Lula isn’t the first Latin American leftist leader Stone has praised – having filmed several documentaries about Fidel Castro (former leader of Cuba) and Hugo Chavez (former leader of Venezuela and former friend of Stone).

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“They’re all great. They’re all original, doing the best they can for their country. I think Chavez was motivated by love of country. So was Castro,” Stone told AFP. He has yet to announce a release date for Lula’s film, but many believe it will come in May.

Describes Himself As A ‘Freethinker’

When asked if he had any words for his detractors, Stone left them with one simple message: “I’m a freethinker.” That attitude has been apparent throughout Stone’s career as a filmmaker and screenplay writer.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In addition to Lula, Castro, and Chavez, Stone has directed documentaries about Richard Nixon, JFK, and George W. Bush. Of course, he also directed The Putin Interviews – where he took part in a series of interviews with Vladimir Putin between 2015 and 2017.

Stone Accused Of Spreading Pro-Autocrat Propaganda

Last week, a group of investigative journalists started investigating a series of proposed pitches for documentaries by Russian producer Igor Lopatonok. The pitches focused on the leaders of Belarus, Turkey, and Azerbaijan and were intended to be used as propaganda if filmed.

Source: mizanonline

The projects never came to fruition, but Oliver Stone was linked to them as a potential interviewer. He has worked with Lopatonok in the past, most notably as an interview for the pro-Russian docs Ukraine on Fire and Revealing Ukraine and Qazaq: History of the Golden Man.

Lopatonok Appears To Lie About Stone’s Involvement

When interviewed by the investigative team, Lopatonok confirmed that Stone not only knew of the projects but supported them. The reporters, however, couldn’t verify that statement as true and found no direct link to Stone in the project.

Source: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

And when the investigators reached out to Stone, he was unavailable for comment. So, for that reason, they were forced to assume that Lopatonok wasn’t telling the truth – or, at the very least, not telling the whole truth.

Stone Clarifies Report, Denies Any Ill Intent

Around the same time, The Hollywood Reporter contacted Stone for comment, and he clarified a few mistakes in the original report – and defended his previous projects as non-political in nature.

Source: Flickr

In regards to Lopatonok’s pitches, he ‘passed on the proposed film about Lukashenko of Belarus and have not approved and was not aware of any other pitches to world leaders.’

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Ryan Handson

Written by Ryan Handson

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