Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone

: Photo from Wikimedia Commons / Author of Photo: Hamed Malekpour


* Famous and wealthy movie director
* Admirer of the late Communist dictator Fidel Castro
* Signatory of Not In Our Name’s “Statement of Conscience”
* “I think the revolt of September 11th was about ‘Fuck you! Fuck your order’”
* Paid a friendly visit to Yasser Arafat in 2002
* Supporter of convicted killers Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal
* Supporter of the Marxist-Leninist terror group, FARC
* Supporter of Venezuela’s late socialist president, Hugo Chavez
* Views America as an “Evil Empire”
* “Israel has fucked up United States foreign policy for years.”


Born in New York City on September 15, 1946, Oliver Stone grew up in Manhattan and Stamford, Connecticut. He enrolled at Yale University in 1965, but dropped out after his freshman year and spent some time teaching English in South Vietnam. Stone subsequently lived in Mexico for a year, and then again attended Yale for a brief period. From April 1967 to November 1968, he served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army. After completing his tour of duty in the military, Stone attended the New York University film school, where he was mentored by the legendary director/producer Martin Scorsese. He graduated in 1971, and soon thereafter he launched his cinematic career. His first full-length movie was Seizure (1974).

Anti-War Views

By the mid-1970s, Stone had developed strong anti-war convictions. Two of his subsequent films, Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989)—both of which dealt with the Vietnam War—portrayed the U.S. military as a villainous entity whose dubious morals had often led to the indiscriminate slaughter of unarmed civilians in foreign lands.

Movies of the 1990s & Beyond

In his 1991 film, JFK, Stone concluded that President John Kennedy had been killed by conspiring factions of CIA officers, Cuban refugees, Texas oil tycoons, and rogue U.S. military personnel. He argued, further, that the American intelligence community had worked with the Mafia and disgruntled Bay of Pigs survivors to murder Kennedy so that American companies could reap colossal war profits. But the film was replete with inaccuracies. As scholar Steven Plaut wrote in an alalysis of JFK, “every single scene in the film about the assassination has been shown to be a fabrication.” (To view a list of 100 separate fabrications/errors in the film, click here.

Four years later, in the movie Nixon, Stone connected President Richard Nixon to the assassination of Kennedy.

Other Stone-directed movies of the 1990s, including The Doors and Natural Born Killers, explored the themes of excess and drug use—subjects with which Stone himself was familiar, having been addicted to cocaine for two-and-a-half years in the late 1970s and early ’80s.

Over the years, Stone became one of the world’s most prominent movie directors and a vehement critic of American foreign policy. He has commonly used the medium of film as a political tool, pushing leftist agendas while expressing his overt contempt for American culture generally, and for conservatives specifically.

For more details about Stone’s long career as a filmmaker, click here and here.

Comparing Germany’s Treatment of Scientologists, to the Nazi Persecution of Jews

In 1997, Stone was one of 34 celebrities to sign an open letter likening Germany’s poor treatment of modern-day Scientologists to the Nazis’ persecution of Jews in the 1930s. As The Washington Post reported: “The open letter accused the government of excluding children of Scientologists from public schools and drew a parallel between efforts to boycott performances by actors and musicians who are Scientologists to the book-burnings staged by Nazis in the 1930s.” Urging Chancellor Helmut Kohl “to bring an end to this shameful pattern of organized persecution,” the letter stated:

“These acts are intolerable in any country that conceives of itself as a modern democracy. This organized oppression is beginning to sound familiar . . . like the Germany of 1936 rather than 1996. It should be stopped — now, before it spreads and increases in virulence as it did before.”

Claiming That 9/11 Was a “Revolt” Against America

In the wake of the deadly 9/11 terrorist attacks, Stone opined that the hijackers responsible for those atrocities had acted not as unprovoked aggressors, but rather, in retaliation against American arrogance and corporate greed. “I think the revolt of September 11th was about ‘Fuck you! Fuck your order,’” he said. Stone also accused the U.S. government of having purposely allowed Osama bin Laden to escape unharmed in the wake of 9/11, while pretending to be hot on his trail. “Bin Laden,” said Stone, “was completely protected by the oil companies in this country who told [President] Bush not to go after him because it would piss off the Saudis.”

The “Not In Our Name” Statement of Conscience

In 2002 Stone was a signatory to Not In Our Name’s “Statement of Conscience,” an anti-war declaration whose signers pledged “to resist the [U.S.] policies … which pose grave dangers to the people of the world.” Not In Our Name was a project of the Maoist agitator C. Clark Kissinger and the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Praising Fidel Castro

Also in the early 2000s, Stone directed Comandante, a documentary study (intended for HBO television) of Fidel Castro. For the making of this film, Stone was granted thirty hours of interview time with the Cuban dictator, whom he would later describe as “one of the Earth’s wisest people, one of the people we should consult.” Comandante portrayed Castro as a highly sympathetic figure, but HBO cancelled the film’s scheduled airing in the spring of 2003, after 80 human-rights activists in Cuba had been sentenced to prison terms of 20 years or more—for speaking out against abuses by the Castro regime. The film’s cancellation did not dampen Stone’s enthusiasm for Castro, however. “Street demonstrations in favor of Fidel Castro are not a fake,” the filmmaker declared. “If they were, those demonstrators should win an Oscar for best acting. I can testify to this because I have seen the joy on their faces when people come up to the president.” On another occasion, Stone asserted: “In Cuba, I observed an openness and freedom that I had not found in any other country in the region, the Caribbean or Central America.”

Stone returned to Cuba in May 2003 to film Looking for Fidel, which retained an admiring tone toward Castro. In a television interview following the movie’s release in 2004, journalist Charlie Rose asked Stone about objections that some critics had raised vis à vis Castro’s human-rights violations. Stone replied: “I can’t answer the question because, frankly, I don’t know the answer…. Human rights is a very, very delicate [concept]. It goes both ways. I mean, there can be those people who are authentically violated and those people who are not, those people who are supported by the United States financially and those who are not.”

Sympathetic to Yasser Arafat & Hamas, Critical of Israel

Another Stone project of this period was Persona Non Grata (2003), a sympathetic documentary (again for HBO) about the Palestinian leader and longtime international terrorist Yasser Arafat. Arafat in 2002 had been placed under house arrest by the Israeli Defense Forces, in retaliation for his repeated failure to discourage Arab terrorism. Stone nonetheless paid a friendly visit to Arafat in the latter’s Ramallah compound. While he was in the region, the director also visited with Ramallah’s leading Hamas chieftain, Hassan Yussef.

After the release of Persona Non Grata, Stone explained that he had made the film in order to ask Arafat about his “long-term classical values: what your life was like, what the meaning of your suffering was, what regrets you have.” In an interview with Hollywood Variety columnist Army Archerd, Stone said that after having produced this movie, he was better able to understand why suicide bombers “feel the way they do.” “The Israelis have no business in the West Bank,” he elaborated. “The [Jewish] settlements have to be gotten out of the West Bank.”

Condemning the Smithsonian Institution’s Exhibit of the Enola Gay

In 2003 Stone lent his name to a statement condemning the Smithsonian Institution’s plan to exhibit the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that had been used in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. Stone and his fellow 250+ signers—including such notables as Noam Chomsky, Martin Sheen, Norman Lear, and Pete Seeger—were opposed to the aircraft being regarded in a “celebratory” manner.

Contempt for Conservatives

At the 52nd San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain in 2004, Stone passionately denounced conservatives in the U.S. and abroad:

“The right wing is the same everywhere, in Cuba or Viet Nam. It is like an octopus, snatching everything with its tentacles. They control the Internet, radio and TV stations, and newspapers. But above all, they are perfectly organized. Right wingers master the art of negative publicity and are capable of destroying the image of anyone they consider to be their enemy. They annihilate anything opposed to their interests, utilizing mass emailing, articles, and reports. In the United States, censorship is the order of the day…. These people are blinded by patriotic fanaticism and are ready to invade any country, and shoot down planes if necessary.”

“I’m Ashamed for My Country”

In 2006 Stone released World Trade Center, which centered around two Port Authority police officers trapped under the rubble of New York’s fallen Twin Towers on 9/11. At a press conference connected to the film’s premier at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, Stone condemned the United States as follows:

“We [America] have destroyed the world in the name of security … From September 12 on, the incident was politicized and it has polarized the entire world. It is a shame because it is a waste of energy to see that the entire world five years later is still convulsed in the grip of 9/11. It’s a waste of energy away from things that do matter, which is [sic] poverty, death, disease, the planet itself, and fixing things in our own homes rather than fighting wars with others. Mr. Bush has set America back ten years, maybe more … Terrorism is a manageable action. It can be lived with.”

Stone also said:

  • “I think that conspiracy-mongering [regarding allegations that U.S. authorities may have known about the attacks in advance] on 9/11 is a waste of time. The far greater conspiracy occurred after 9/11 when basically a neo-cabal inside our government hijacked policy and went to war. That was as broad a conspiracy as we can get, and it was about 20, 30 people. That’s all, they took over and all these books are coming out and they are pointing it out.”
  • “This war on Iraq is a disaster. I’m disgraced. I’m ashamed for my country. I’m also ashamed that America has attacked itself with its constitutional breakdowns. I’m deeply ashamed.”
  • “There is something in the human heart, the international human heart, that is evil. That’s the evil that turns its mind and ears on humanity and is able to say ‘I can kill a person in the name of God or religion. This is not a human being, this a fanatic.’ And I fear that fanaticism is the result of our overreaction to 9/11.”

Accusing President Bush of Exploiting 9/11

At a Moscow press conference in September 2006, Stone hinted that he might make another film accusing the Bush administration of having been intimately involved in the planning and execution of 9/11. “There is a great story in a movie, a conspiracy by a group of people in the American administration who have an agenda and who used 9/11 to further that agenda,” he told journalists. Further, Stone accused President Bush of exploiting 9/11 to stoke Americans’ fears and to bolster his own political power in a manner that was “right out of George Orwell.”

Supporting Leonard Peltier

In 2008 Stone was one of more than 560 celebrities, scholars, journalists, politicians, and organizations to sign a petition asking the federal government to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, an American Indian rights activist convicted of murdering two FBI agents in 1975. Among Stone’s fellow signatories were Tim RobbinsSusan Sarandon, Barbara Streisand, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Yoko Ono Lennon, Bryan Adams, Bono, Cher, Phil Collins, Kylie Minogue, Peter Gabriel, Bianca Jagger, Elton John, Kris Kristofferson, Annie Lennox, Madonna, Ozzy Osbourne, Sting, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Irons, Jude Law, Helen Mirren, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Joan Collins, and Raquel Welch.

Supporting Mumia Abu Jamal

Stone has also been a longtime supporter of Mumia Abu Jamal, a leftist icon and former Black Panther convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner. Stone contends that Abu Jamal did not kill Officer Faulkner, notwithstanding incontrovertible evidence that was presented during Abu Jamal’s trial.

Supporting the Marxist-Leninist FARC

In a January 2008 interview with The Observer, Stone voiced support for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group designated as a terrorist organization by both the European Union and the United States. Said Stone:

“I do think that by the standards of Western civilization they [FARC] go too far; they kidnap innocent people. On the other hand, they’re fighting a desperate battle against highly financed, American-supported forces who have been terrorizing the countryside for years and kill most of the people. FARC is fighting back as best it can, and grabbing hostages is the fashion in which they can finance themselves and try to achieve their goals, which are difficult…. I think they are heroic to fight for what they believe in and die for it, as was Castro in the hills of Cuba.”

Supporting Hugo Chavez

Stone was a staunch supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a FARC sympathizer.

  • In January 2008, Stone collaborated with Chavez in brokering a deal which called for FARC to release three hostages as a gesture of good faith. Stone described Chavez as “an honest man, a strong man and a soldier.”
  • While filming a documentary about Chavez in 2009, Stone praised him as a “world-changer,” “a big man” who “thinks big.”
  • Stone revisited that theme in 2010, when he said: “I admire Hugo. I like him very much as a person.” “He behaves well,” Stone added. “I think he’s compensating those businesses that he has nationalized…. Most peoples’ lives in [Venezuela]  have improved under Chavez.” Stone also described Chavez as “a soldier” who “speaks from his heart”; a man whose “vision is huge”; and a leader who “will go down in history” for his sizable achievements.
  • Complaining that Chavez had been “demonized in the American and European press as a monster,” Stone in 2010 produced the film South of the Border to provide, among other things, “a positive portrayal of a man who Americans do not have access to.”
  • After Chavez died in 2013, Stone said: “I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place . . . Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chavez will live forever in history.”

Supporting Barack Obama for President

In March 2008 Stone, along with actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, was named as a judge in a MoveOn.org advertising contest designed to promote the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama.

Deriding President Bush in the Film, W

In October 2008, during the height of the presidential election season, Stone released his film on the life and presidency of George W. Bush, simply titled W.  Starring Barbra Streisand’s stepson, Josh Brolin, as President Bush, the movie portrayed Bush as a petty, profane, unintelligent religious zealot. In a June 2009 interview with Bill Maher, Stone said: “Nixon always said Reagan was a dumb son of a bitch and, you know, I think that he was. And I think, I really think George W is dumber.”

Contempt for America & Israel

In a 2010 interview, Stone again articulated his anti-American hatred when he alleged that the U.S. had contributed to Adolf Hitler’s excesses in the 1930s, even as he (Stone) defended Joseph Stalin. According to Stone, Hitler had enjoyed “a lot of support” from “German industrialists, the Americans and the British.” Minimizing the enormity of the Holocaust, Stone said: “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than [to] the Jewish people, 25 or 30 [million killed].” Such facts were not widely known, explained Stone, because of “the Jewish domination of the media.” “There’s a major lobby in the United States,” he elaborated. “They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has fucked up United States foreign policy for years.”

A Nuanced View of Joseph Stalin

As regards Stalin, Stone in 2010 told The Hollywood Reporter that the Soviet dictator, like all other people, could not be properly classified as “only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’” “Stalin has a complete other story,” Stone explained. “… Not to paint him as a hero, but … [h]e fought the German war machine more than any single person. We can’t judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history, and it’s been used cheaply.”

2012 Book: The Untold History of the United States

In 2012, Stone released the 12-part Showtime documentary mini-series The Untold History of the United States, which was supplemented by a 750-page companion book bearing the same title and published by Simon & Schuster. Co-written by Stone and American University historian Peter J. Kuznick, the mini-series and the book alike depicted the U.S. as the principal source of earthly evil and human suffering. Stone was the narrator in most of the television episodes. Below are some of the more significant themes and topics examined by various episodes in the series:

Stalin & the Soviets

In The Untold History of the United States, Stone praised Joseph Stalin as a pragmatic hero who, by fighting Hitler’s war machine, saved not only his homeland but the entire world. According to the filmmaker, for years before World War II began, the Soviet dictator had implored (to no avail) the countries of the West to take on Hitler. In early 1939, when Hitler took over what remained of Czechoslovakia—violating his pledge not to advance beyond the Sudetenland—Stalin, by Stone’s telling, became a hero:

“Stalin recognized the truth. His country was facing its most deadly enemy alone. He needed to buy time and fearing a German-Polish alliance to attack the USSR he shocked the West when he signed a nonaggression pact with Hitler dividing Eastern Europe between them. Stalin’s primary concern was the security of his own nation. In fact the Soviet dictator had proposed the same alliance with Britain and France, but neither would accept Stalin’s demand to place Soviet troops on Polish soil as a way of blocking the Germans.”

Asserting that the United States and its allies were only minor players in the Second World War, Stone claimed that during the “pivotal years” of the conflict “the Soviets were regularly battling more than 200 German divisions” while “the Americans and the British fighting in the Mediterranean rarely confronted more than 10 German divisions.” “Serious historians agree,” Stone concluded, “that it was the Soviet Union that … through sheer desperation and incredibly stoic heroism forged the great narrative of World War II: the defeat of the monster German war machine.”

America & the Cold War

The Untold History of the United States labored to make the case that America’s use of atomic weapons against Japan was the original sin that sparked the Cold War. Further, Stone maintained that the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was both unnecessary and tragically misguided, because a Soviet invasion would have forced Japan to surrender in any case and would have resulted in a lesser loss of life.

By Stone’s calculus, the Cold War was largely a product of America’s greed and aggression against a Soviet Union that merely wished to coexist peacefully with its war-time ally. In this rewriting of history, the possibility of post-war cooperation between the West and the Soviets was destroyed by America’s effort to use its overwhelming economic and military power to dominate the world and to destroy the socialist and communist challenges to its hegemony. Winston Churchill, too, was one of the villains in Stone’s story. Eager as he was to maintain the British Empire, Churchill’s famous “iron curtain” speech represented to Stone a “quantum leap in bellicosity” against the Soviets.

Stone further lamented that President Harry Truman had also taken a hard line against the Soviet Union and the democratically elected Communist parties in France and Italy, and in 1948 had helped England to crush a “popular leftist” government in Greece. This U.S.-led aggression against a wartime ally—camouflaged as the “Truman Doctrine”—was rationalized, said Stone, by propagating the false “image of the Soviet Union out to conquer the world.” In fact, Stone maintained, the Soviets—“stunned” by Truman’s bellicosity—were simply trying to rebuild their war-shattered country and alleviate its “crushing poverty,” defend their western borders against their historical enemy Germany, and secure the “warm water ports” necessary for their geopolitical interests. According to Stone, Truman ignored these understandable efforts and bullied the Soviets, using nuclear blackmail to drive them from Iran, forcing Germany to cut off reparation payments, and continuing to test nuclear weapons.

Stone explained every Soviet move as a natural response to American provocations and aggression. Thus he claimed that the Soviets, fearful of Truman’s imperialist expansionism, responded to American intervention in Greece with a coup in Hungary, and imposed on their Eastern European satellites a “new and stricter order.” The hero in Stone’s tale was communist fellow traveler Henry Wallace, who “tried to put a stop to the growing madness” but was spied upon and denigrated by the Truman administration, eliminating any chance of ending the “nuclear arms race.” Stone further complained that Truman—fearful of the “Republican right”—had instituted surveillance of suspected domestic “subversives,” demanded loyalty oaths, and investigated suspected communists in Hollywood and labor unions, thus pandering to the supposedly irrational fear of communism widespread among Americans. What followed this “red scare,” he said, were numberless instances of anti-communist propaganda in movies, and the “witch hunts” conducted by the FBI and CIA—what Stone called “capitalism’s invisible army.”

By Stone’s telling, the 1948 Soviet overthrow of the Czech government (and the installation of a puppet regime) was a “purely defensive move,” because the Czech acceptance of Marshall Plan aid was understandably seen (by the USSR) as a tool of American penetration. The West’s fear of Soviet plans for “world domination,” added Stone, was nothing more than a paranoid fantasy manipulated by the U.S. government to further its own ambitions to control the world.

The Eisenhower Era

In The Untold History of the United States, Stone argued that President Dwight Eisenhower was both a willing tool of greedy U.S. corporations, and a warmonger who refused to make deals with a Soviet Union that was suing for peace. Indeed, Stone blamed Eisenhower for having created “a permanent war economy” by turning America into a high-tech, modern-day Sparta and ramping up military expenditures. “Nuclear bombs,” said Stone, “were now the foundation of America’s empire and provided the new emperor, its president, with a mystical power that required more and more suffocating secrecy even if those powers went far beyond the original limits of executive power defined in the Constitution.” “And although the bombs themselves were not expensive,” Stone elaborated, “the huge infrastructure was, requiring bases in the U.S. and abroad and enormous delivery systems by bomber, missile, aircraft carrier, and submarine.”

Stone also contended that Eisenhower had planted the seeds for later “blowback” against the U.S. by intervening in the affairs of countries such as Iran. The Islamic revolution of 1979, which transformed that country from a U.S. ally to a hostile totalitarian theocracy, was, according to Stone, an explosion of pent-up hostility in reaction to the U.S.- and U.K.-backed ouster of Iran’s socialist prime minister Mohammed Mosaddegh in 1953. And to make matters worse, Stone maintained, that ouster had been carried out solely to guarantee Western access to Iran’s oil.

Johnson, Nixon & Vietnam

Episode 7 of The Untold History of the United States — titled “Johnson, Nixon & Vietnam: Reversal of Fortune” — opened with a review of American intervention in Latin America. Not once during this harangue about U.S. involvement in the southern hemisphere or the Caribbean, were Cuban and Soviet efforts to impose totalitarian gulags on their victims examined seriously. Indeed, throughout the program, if there was a counter-demonstration against a so-called “democratic” Communist government, it was always portrayed as something instigated by the CIA and American agents. But if there was a “peace protest” at home, it was never identified as an initiative of KGB agents, even though such agents were known to have been remarkably active throughout the U.S. peace movement.

Stone, with apparent glee, accurately noted that atrocities had been committed by American and/or South Vietnamese troops, although he sloppily showed the “napalm girl,” who was badly burned due to a South Vietnamese attack, while narrating about U.S. atrocities. Not once were North Vietnamese or Viet Cong atrocities even mentioned, let alone catalogued—the chopping off of villagers’ arms for supporting the Americans, the genocide of the Hmong, the beheading of village elders who opposed Communists, and so on.

Context aside, Stone perpetuated a number of enduring myths in this supposedly “new” and “untold” history. He implied that the Vietnam War had been disproportionately fought by blacks, and he flatly stated that blacks had died in combat in disproportionately high numbers. This was absolutely incorrect: blacks comprised 12% of American forces in Vietnam and 12.5% of casualties, which was almost exactly their share of the U.S. population at the time. In actuality, men with a college degree — most of them pilots and the heavy majority of them white — were disproportionately killed.

There was also the implication, though not specifically stated, that Vietnam was a “draftees’ war,” which again was simply wrong. In truth, two-thirds of the Americans who fought in Vietnam were volunteers.

Stone reveled in the mass anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s and ’70s, and he insisted that professors and journalists had received CIA money as an incentive to challenge anti-war views. There was no mention of the infiltration of campuses by active Soviet sympathizers and devout Communists.

Throughout Episode 7, Stone was perfectly willing togive credence to anything the North Vietnamese said when they were ridiculing or contradicting American claims. But when General Vo Bam later admitted that in 1959 he had been given the task of beginning an invasion of the South, somehow Stone felt that the North Vietnamese were not to be believed.

According to Stone, the Vietnam War was a result of American “fear of weakness,” and not of Communist expansionism. He also claimed that in the peace settlement, the South had “dithered” about allowing elections to take place, but he never mentioned that the North never had any elections at all.

In the program’s post-Vietnam material, there was no condemnation of the Communist purges that had hilled millions, or of the slaughter of hundreds of thousands by African governments that had nothing whatsoever to do with the United States or the CIA.

The USSR’s Moral Superiority to America

Episode 8 of The Untold History of the United States depicted every anti-American country and organization — be it the USSR invading Afghanistan, or the Iranians taking American hostages in 1979 — as careful and forbearing actors. The Soviet Union, for instance, was presented as a nation that wanted peace, whereas America was portrayed as an aggressive, bloodthirsty oppressor running roughshod across the globe. Moreover, the United States was accused of undermining the Soviets by backing Islamic militants — a move that ultimately led, the viewers were told, to the terror attacks of September 11.

Also in Episode 8, Stone depicted President Ronald Reagan as an ignorant buffoon who had been wrongly convinced by his CIA director, William Casey, that the USSR was involved in international terrorism. Stone’s position ignored the fact that soon after the fall of the USSR — and long before the making of Stone’s mini-series — many volumes of documents had come to light detailing the monumental sums of money and the many types of training that the KGB had long provided to terrorist groups.

By Stone’s telling as well, the Soviet-backed Sandinistas of Central America were heroes, while the Reagan-supported Contras were villains.

The Racism of America Generally, and of Conservatism in Particular

In Episode 8 of The Untold History of the United States, Stone stated that “right wing forces have always operated freely and openly in the dark chasms of American life where racism, militarism, imperialism and blind devotion to private enterprise festered.” Accompanying this assertion was footage from Birth of a Nation, a film that Thomas Dixon Jr., author of The Clansman, the book upon which the film was based — screened for President Woodrow Wilson with the intention that it “would transform every man in the audience into a good Democrat!” Stone’s narration then proceeded to claim that the same forces that had spawned the Nazi Party and the McCarthyites, also created the newly ascendant conservative Tea Party movement.

Reagan, the Fall of the Soviet Union, and Bush

In The Untold History of the United States, Stone explained that contrary to pro-American propaganda, President Ronald Reagan and his successor, George H.W. Bush, had not contributed to ending the Cold War. Instead, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, a Communist, deserved all the credit. Stone declared that around the time when the Berlin Wall fell, “the world was a hopeful, even joyous place” where “protracted and bloody wars were ending” in numerous places; that Gorbachev took it upon himself to ask the member states of the United Nations “for joint action to eliminate the threat to the world’s environment”; and that in late 1988 Gorbachev demanded the banning of weapons in outer space and the cessation of Third World exploitation. Also crediting Gorbachev for seeking “to put an end to an era of wars, the terror of hunger and poverty, and the tactic of political terrorism,” Stone praised the Soviet leader’s proposals as “breathtaking,” “bold,” and “heroic.”

By contrast, Stone portrayed George H.W. Bush as a vicious, dim-witted aristocrat who had willingly “appealed to voters’ racism” in exchange for political gain. And the younger George W. Bush, Stone claimed, had won the U.S. presidency in 2000 only because his well-connected family stole the election by somehow rigging the vote in the all-important state of Florida. Then, said Stone, the illegitimate president set about fulfilling the conservative movement’s nefarious agendas: asserting U.S. sovereignty by withdrawing from the International Criminal Court Treaty; rejecting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; repudiating the Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming; disavowing the so-called Middle East peace process; and suspending negotiations with Stalinist North Korea on its long-range missile program. Even worse, Stone said: “His administration was marinated in oil, [Vice President Dick] Cheney putting together a highly secretive energy task force that laid out plans to control the world’s supply.”

Stone also blamed Bush for having failed to prevent the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The threats made by Osama bin Laden had been known by authorities, said Stone, but the president “could not focus his attention as he spent more time away from Washington than any recent president at his sequestered Crawford, Texas ranch chopping wood.” As for the killing of bin Laden in 2011 by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs, Stone condemned the “vigilante-style” execution of the al Qaeda leader.

Environmental Alarmist

During the waning days of the 2012 presidential election season, Stone proclaimed that Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that had ravaged the Caribbean and the coastal Mid-Atlantic region of the United States in late October, was a “punishment” that had been inflicted upon America because neither of the two major presidential candidates — Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama, the latter of whom Stone voted for — had discussed the issue of climate change during their final debate. In Stone’s calculus, Hurricane Sandy was undeniable evidence that anthropogenic global warming was taking a horrible toll on America’s environment, and confirmation that “Mother Nature cannot be ignored.”

Defending Putin, Criticizing Israel

In a June 2017 interview that was taped for Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, Stone, seeking to promote The Putin Interviews — his new Showtime mini-series featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin — defended Putin and condemned Israel in a manner that caused the producers of the program to cancel the interview’s scheduled airing. When Colbert asked Stone about his alleged sympathies for Putin despite the Russian government’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Stone tried to steer the conversation toward Israel. As Page Six subsequently reported:

“Stone said words to the effect of: ‘Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia.’ The Platoon director further challenged Colbert by saying, ‘Why don’t you ask me about that?’ — but we’re told that the host shot back, ‘I’ll ask you about that when you make a documentary about Israel!’

Also in his interview with Colbert, Stone expressed sympathy for Putin, saying: “He’s been through a lot. He’s been insulted and abused — abused in the press, in the media.”

Sexual Harassment Allegations

In October 2017, forty-eight-year-old Carrie Stevens, a former Playboy Playmate, claimed that some 26 years earlier, Stone had grabbed her breast at a party. “He was really cocky, had this big grin on his face like he was going to get away with something,” Stevens told the New York Daily News, adding that Stone had “reached out and…honked it like a horn,” like “an immature guy in elementary school who snaps your bra.” “That’s what’s going on in Hollywood,” Stevens said. “That’s why things have to change. He’s Oliver Stone. Nobody’s going to say anything.”

In a November 2017 interview with radio host Andy Cohen, actress Melissa Gilbert accused Stone of having sexually harassed and humiliated her while she was auditioning for a role in Stone’s 1991 Jim Morrison biopic The Doors. Gilbert claimed that Stone had used the audition as a forum in which to sexually humiliate her as retaliation because “I had said something and embarrassed him publicly.” According to Gilbert, Stone “wrote this special scene that he wanted me to do for him physically in the casting room, and it was humiliating and horrid.” Specifically, Gilbert said that Stone had told her to kneel on the floor and “Do me, baby,” a directive that had caused her to leave the audition in tears.

Condemning the French President for Siding with Trump in Opposing the Iran Nuclear Deal

While speaking as a special guest at an April 2018 film festival in Tehran, Stone said that he was “particularly shocked” by French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent decision to support President Donald Trump’s call for renegotiating or amending the Iran Nuclear Deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “I couldn’t believe it,” said Stone. “I remember very well President [Jacques] Chirac with great pride when he said no to George Bush when he [Bush] wanted to invade Iraq [in 2003]. And now to see this young man [Macron], who doesn’t have much of a sense of history or memory of the great traditions of France … was very depressing.” Asserting that Macron “wants to stand alongside the Americans as a sign of French power,” Stone added: “This is a return to the colonialism and imperialism of the old France. This is what President De Gaulle swore off with the Algerian War in 1958-9 when he called it quits. Mr. Macron has to learn that he cannot be an imperialist.”

Condemning America’s “Creative Destruction” of Other Countries

In April 2018 as well, Stone referred to America’s post-9/11 foreign policy as a form of “creative destruction” that was ever seeking to promote regime change in various places across the globe, “no matter how disastrous the invasion of Iraq was” — an invasion that he characterized as a “proxy war.” “We made a mess out of Iraq, Syria, Libya, but it doesn’t matter to the American public,” said Stone. “It’s okay to wreck the Middle East. … It doesn’t matter who is president — Bush, Obama or Trump, the U.S. will break any treaty.”

Asserting That America Is the Real “Evil Empire”

In a January 2020 interview on the television channel Russia Today (RT), Stone said that former President Reagan’s 1983 declaration that the Soviet Union was an “evil empire” and “the focus of evil in the modern world,” would actually have been an accurate assessment of the United States. “Empires fall,” said Stone. “Let’s pray that this [American] empire, these evil things … because we are the evil empire. What Reagan said about Russia is true about us.”

Stone also directed some criticism toward leading Democratic Party figures like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton because of what he described as their pro-war, “right-wing” orientation. Said Stone:

“There is no party in the United States, there is no democratic voice except third parties that are small, that would say ‘Why are we fighting wars?’ I don’t hear it from any of the major candidates, except one or two on the Democratic side, but they don’t have a chance of winning.

“In other words, Hillary Clinton … and Joe Biden are just as pro-war as any Republican Dick Cheney. They just do it in a different way. Maybe it shows you how locked up America is, how so far to the right America has gone, that Hillary Clinton is recognized as a Democrat. I can’t believe it.

“There’s no real left in America in power. It’s all right-wings fighting with right-wings. As [Russian President Vladimir] Putin said in the interviews I did with him, ‘It doesn’t make a difference who is President of the United States.'”

Remorse over Having Voted for Joe Biden

In a July 2023 interview with actor Russell Brand, Stone, fearful that President Biden could potentially drag the United States into a World War III against Russia, said that he now regretted having voted for Biden in the 2020 election. “This is a potential World War III,” said Stone. “This is the same situation as World War I, in a sense. The stupidity of it — because of the alliances and the fears and the built-up phobias. If we don’t stop this, what Biden is doing, this guy is, I voted for him — I made a mistake! — by thinking that he was an old man now that he would calm down, he’d be more mellow and so forth. I didn’t see that at all. I see a man  [Biden] who maybe is not in charge of his own administration. Who knows [if] he’s going to fall down somewhere? But it seems that he’s dragging us stupidly into a confrontation with a power that’s not gonna give.”

Political Donations

Over the years, Stone has made campaign contributions to a number of Democrat political candidates, most notably Barbara BoxerBill Clinton, Chris Dodd, Michael Dukakis, John EdwardsAl GoreJesse Jackson, Patrick J. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Ralph Nader, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

Stone also has given money to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Massive Wealth

As of May 2024, Stone had an estimated net worth of approximately $70 million.

© Copyright 2024, DiscoverTheNetworks.org