22:03 GMT27 January 2020
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    And we have a winner of “troll of the year” nomination.

    The upcoming biographical movie about Neil Armstrong, "The First Man," has sparked massive outrage in the United States, as the motion picture about the first man on the Moon completely omits the moment on July 21, 1969, when the astronaut stuck the American flag into the Lunar surface.

    The notorious US flag on the Lunar surface is arguably one of the most recognizable — and, by conspiracy theorists, the most disputed — photographs in human history. Despite that, Damien Chazelle, the director, made the decision to cut the scene entirely.

    Ryan Gosling, who plays the famous astronaut, explained the rationale behind the decision. According to the actor, Armstrong, who died in 2012, did not view himself as an American hero, but rather as a representative of humanity. Gosling said Armstrong's accomplishments "transcend countries and borders."

    "I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement, and that's how we chose to view it," Gosling said, according to The Telegraph. "I don't think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil."

    "Also I think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible," Gosling added.

    However, Gosling's comments apparently failed to convince the public, as the #boycottfirstman hashtag got trending on Twitter Friday.

    US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was one of the most prominent critics of the flag's omission.

    "This is total lunacy. And a disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together. The American people paid for that mission, on rockets built by Americans, with American technology & carrying American astronauts. It wasn't a UN mission," he wrote on Twitter.

    ​Some viewers expressed their frustration over how the movie would deprive them of the warm feeling brought on by the US reaching the moon before the Soviet Union in the Space Race, in which the USSR had scored early victories by launching the first artificial satellite and putting the first astronaut into space.

    ​Interestingly, at the time of the mission, NASA actually mulled planting the flag of the United Nations on the Moon, The Hill reports. However, as we know, the American flag was chosen eventually, sparking its share of criticism, as some viewed the move as "territorial."

    ​The movie is set to hit US theaters on October 12.


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    movie, American Flag, controversy, NASA, Neil Armstrong, Ryan Gosling, Moon, United States
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