The Secret Role the CIA Had in Making These Movies and TV Shows

When it comes to U.S. Military intelligence branches, everything isn’t always above board. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information for the government. Classified documents and missions mean that the government is continuously trying to cover their tracks and paint themselves in a better light.  In the past, the CIA used to have journalists in their pockets to combat any negative coverage that the media was putting out. However, when that was exposed in the 1970s, they knew they’d have to take a different route.

Now, the CIA is using Hollywood to spin their narratives. According to The Atlantic, “American screenwriters, directors, and producers have traded positive portrayal of the spy profession in film or television projects for special access and favors at CIA headquarters.” This tactic is used more often than you think. These movies and TV shows have been influenced or flat out sponsored by the U.S government.

1. Black Hawk Down

Josh Hartnett in Black Hawk Down

Josh Hartnett in Black Hawk Down | Revolution Studios

  • The CIA asked that a major character in Black Hawk Down get a new name and backstory

Though Black Hawk Down was one of the biggest disasters in post-Vietnam military history, the government and the CIA still wanted the Battle of Mogadishu told accurately. In fact, The Pentagon provided training to the actors, as well as authentic equipment and on set technical assistance. However, the movie wasn’t completely true.

Ewan McGregor’s character was based on Army Ranger John Stebbins; a company clerk drafted into combat. However, they made sure to give the character a different last name and a different backstory since the real Stebbins is currently in prison serving time for raping a child. Horrendous.

Next: An FX series about some spies living in the ’80s.

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