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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Clint Eastwood on why we’re living in a “pussy generation”

Some stars of Hollywood cinema are indelibly linked to American culture, with the likes of John Wayne, James Stewart, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks having made some of the medium’s most patriotic flicks. The actor and director Clint Eastwood is very similar, taking the reins of the western genre from Wayne in the late 20th century, thanks to such hits as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Rising to popularity in the early 1960s, largely thanks to his role in the TV series Rawhide, where he starred with Eric Fleming, Eastwood later found success on the silver screen, taking the lead role in Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars’ spaghetti western trilogy, where he played the iconic and mysterious ‘Man With No Name’. By the end of the decade, he was well and truly an established star of contemporary Hollywood.

In the 21st century, with four Academy Awards and 11 nominations under his belt, Eastwood is considered a veteran of the industry who was born in a different time in Hollywood when the studio system era was slowly coming to an end. Much has indeed changed since the time the actor rose to fame, with the movie industry now far more complex due to the rise of streaming, whilst social values have also changed, thankfully becoming far more tactful and accepting of other races and sexual identities.

Yet, speaking in an interview with Esquire back in 2016, it doesn’t appear that Eastwood considers these changes particularly positive.

“Everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up,” the actor stated in response to how his hardy characters remain relevant in society.

Continuing, he added: “That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist”. 

Clearly, a little upset that ‘things aren’t like they used to’, despite the clear social progress of contemporary life, Eastwood goes on to further define his thoughts on the “pussy generation”, exclaiming: “All these people that say, ‘Oh, you can’t do that, and you can’t do this, and you can’t say that.’ I guess it’s just the times”.

Naturally, this conversation led to the subject of Donald Trump, who was, at the time, about to win the 2016 Presidential Election. “What Trump is onto is he’s just saying what’s on his mind. And sometimes it’s not so good. And sometimes it’s…I mean, I can understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t always agree with it,” the actor says of the former President before adding that he doesn’t endorse him.

Take a look at the trailer for Gran Torino, starring Eastwood, a film that deals with political correctness, generational changes and modern-day racism, below.

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