Heated Debate Over The True Story Of Selma

The new movie Selma, the story of the history making civil rights march on that small Alabama town,  is opening up to rave reviews but also coming under some heavy criticism. INSIDE EDITION reports.

The movie Selma hits big screens nationwide today and it's already one of the most talked about movies of the year.

The film chronicles the historic civil rights marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 leading up to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

The movie is getting rave reviews, but is also coming under criticism over how it depicts president Lyndon Johnson’s character.

Joseph Califano Jr., a former top aide to LBJ, was so upset he wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Washington Post saying, “The film falsely portrays president Lyndon B. Johnson as being at odds with Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, Selma was LBJ’s idea, he considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement.”
The movie's director Ava DuVernay went on Twitter to respond, tweeting, “Selma was LBJ’s idea is jaw dropping and offensive"  

David Oyelowo plays King in the movie and is up for a Golden Globe. He told INSIDE EDITION, “My take on it is that we are as interested in the legacy of both Dr. King and LBJ as everyone else. LBJ undeniably passed the voting rights act in 1965."

Retired US Ambassador to the U.N.  Andrew Young marched in Selma and was a close confidante of  King’s. He's seen the movie.

Young told INSIDE EDITION, “They picked 2 hours to try to tell a lifetime story and I think they did a magnificent job, but you can’t hold them to every little detail, but 99% of the details they got right.”

As to the LBJ controversy, Young says, “LBJ was not a villain in this movie. In the film they used the line 'He has one thing on his mind, I have a hundred.' That’s a legitimate division.”

The LBJ controversy notwithstanding, Selma is being hailed for capturing a historically important moment in the civil rights movement. For Andrew Young, that means so much.

Young continued, "With democracy and free enterprise and nonviolence working together we can make change better than any other system or any other people anywhere in the world.”