01.18.08 10 years ago 906 Comments

Shock, disbelief, hysteria, peturpitudenousness – these are just some of the words that describe my reaction to today’s news that Hollywood may use the words "based on a true story" loosely. A new report implies movies may bend the truth, "glamorizing" or "romanticizing" events that were in reality far less cinematic.

Specifically at issue is Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, which purports to tell the true story of Harlem druglord Frank Lucas.  On Wednesday, several DEA agents who investigated the Lucas case sued NBC Universal for defamation.  (Also at issue is whether Lucas ever smuggled heroin in caskets, though I hardly see why that matters) 

Lucas is shown to turn informant, specifically against corrupt police officers. A legend at the end of the movie claims three-fourths of New York’s Drug Enforcement Agency were convicted thanks to Lucas’ cooperation.
"(Lucas) was my informant for years," [former DEA Agent Jack] Toal says. "He never mentioned any crooked DEA agent or cop."
A DEA spokesman in Washington, Garrison Courtney, confirmed that no agents were ever charged with wrongdoing in the case.  

Three-fourths, none – hey, tomato tomahto.  I’ll tell you this though, the DEA is guilty of totally harshing my mellow on numerous occasions.  And Denzell of giving me a bad case of jungle fever. Wait, is that racist? Whatever, it sounds better than Finding An African-American Man Attractivitis. 

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