In a recent interview with the Mirror, Clint Eastwood shared that he thinks the word ‘hero’ is overused today and a direct result of a politically correct-obsessed and coddled generation. He said:
“…all the little boys in the class have to go home with a first place trophy. It’s all in this sort of politically correct thing where everyone has to win a prize.”
Eastwood directed the biopic, “Sully: Miracle on the Hudson,” a film that chronicles Air Force veteran and former U.S. Airways pilot, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, who back in 2009 skillfully landed a plane on the Hudson River, saving all 155 passengers on board, including himself.
Eastwood said of the captain:
“The use of the word ‘hero’ is a little bit overdone but I don’t think so in Sully’s case. He went extra and beyond what was expected.”
But on Tuesday, Tom Hanks, star of “Sully: Miracle on the Hudson” and the actor who plays Captain Sully in the film, received one of the Medal of Freedom awards given by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House. The recipients included sports stars, artists and philanthropists.
Sully himself was not counted as one of them.
Other recipients of the award included household names such as Diana Ross, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Michael Jordan and Bruce Springsteen.
Whether Eastwood’s statement from the Mirror interview was meant to be a political one remains to be seen. Clint Eastwood openly expressed that he voted for President-elect Donald Trump over Secretary Clinton during the presidential election cycle.
Tom Hanks joined Eastwood in pointing out that Captain Sully is an American hero. Hanks explained:
“The textbook definition of a hero is someone who voluntarily puts themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of others.”
Captain Sully has gone above and beyond that criteria— something Americans, particularly those on the U.S. Airways Flight 1549, are still thankful for to this day.
Hanks also humbly addressed whether he thought of himself as such a ‘hero’:
“I’m a p**sy, man. I’m an actor. I haven’t done anything that’s near death.
Once I had to swim in the open ocean in Cast Away, oh jeepers. Terrible. Crazy. I’ve never experienced anything remotely like this.
There’s four roles for us in real life. You can be a hero, villain, coward or bystander. I’m the bystander.”
It seems these two stars agree who the real hero is, regardless of whether Captain Sully gets a Medal of Freedom to validate it.