'Lincoln' screenwriter defends film from congressman's criticism

“Rep. Courtney is correct that the four members of the Connecticut delegation voted for the amendment," Kushner wrote.

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But Kushner notes, “We changed two of the delegation’s votes, and we made up new names for the men casting those votes, so as not to ascribe any actions to actual persons who didn’t perform them.”

The famed screenwriter says that wasn’t the only tweak the flick’s creators made: “In the movie, the voting is also organized by state, which is not the practice in the House.”

Kushner then explains the thinking behind the changes: “These alterations were made to clarify to the audience the historical reality that the Thirteenth Amendment passed by a very narrow margin that wasn’t determined until the end of the vote. … In making changes to the voting sequence, we adhered to time-honored and completely legitimate standards for the creation of historical drama, which is what ‘Lincoln’ is.”

He defiantly adds, “I hope nobody is shocked to learn that I also made up dialogue and imagined encounters and invented characters.”

Kushner goes on to defend the Academy Award nominated film, saying, “I respectfully disagree with the Congressman’s contention that accuracy in every detail is 'paramount' in a work of historical drama. Accuracy is paramount in every detail of a work of history.”

Courtney had called for the film’s creators to acknowledge and “if possible” to fix the inaccuracy before “Lincoln” is released on DVD.

In his response, Kushner gives no indication the movie will be modified in any way and takes issue with Courtney’s call to action.

“I’m sorry if anyone in Connecticut felt insulted by these 15 seconds of the movie, although issuing a Congressional press release startlingly headlined ‘Before The Oscars …’ seems a rather flamboyant way to make that known.”

The Pulitzer Prize winner ends the note by writing, “I’m deeply heartened that the vast majority of moviegoers seem to have understood that this is a dramatic film and not an attack on their home state.”