Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is standing by her statement that the U.S. “is responsible in some way” for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“Not to have the courage to ask these questions of ourselves is to betray the victims of 9-11,” she said in a new statement issued by her publicist, according to New York Newsday.
Gyllenhaal appears in the movie “The Great New Wonderful,” which features five stories about people living in the aftermath of the Twin Towers attack. The piece is screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, an event Robert DeNiro helped launch in 2002 to benefit the recovery of Lower Manhattan.
Friday, Gyllenhaal told NY1, an all-news cable channel, that the movie dealt with complexities and subtleties of life after September 11.
“… I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way, and so I think the delicacy with which it’s dealt allows that to sort of creep in,” she said.
A fan website for Gyllenhaal, maggie-gyllenhaal.net, has seen a number of negative posts about the actress’ comments, some from NYC firefighters.
Her complete statement on the site says: “[Sept. 11] was a terrible tragedy and of course it goes without saying that I grieve along with every American for everyone who suffered and everyone who died in the catastrophe. But for those of us who were spared, it was also an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America’s role in the world. Because it is always useful, as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict. Not to have the courage to ask these questions of ourselves is to betray the victims of 9-11.”
Says a message on the site: “She won’t see the comments, so please don’t leave hate messages.”
Newsday says one firefighter chat room has been filled with talk of Gyllenhaal’s comments lately, with requests that people post remarks on the fan website.