The new HBO mini-series, The Pacific, produced by Tom Hanks, premiered on March 14th, and now Hanks himself, one of the most beloved figures in Hollywood, is under fire for remarks like this: "It would be naive to assume that racism was not part of the quotient in World War II, and that terrorism was not a part of the equation as well."
The firestorm began when Hanks told Time magazine, "In World War II we viewed the Japanese as yellow slant-eyed dogs that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of life was different. Does that sound familiar to what is going on today?"
And here's what he told MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "The only way to complete one of these battles on one of these small specks of rock in the middle of nowhere was to, I'm sorry, kill them all. And does that sound familiar to what we might be going through today?"
Hanks has been an icon among veterans since starring in Saving Private Ryan, and producing the World War II mini-series Band of Brothers. But his remarks about World War ll in The Pacific and the current war on terror are causing outrage.
"The Japanese attacked the United States, much like Al Qaeda did. So you can see Mr. Hanks needs a history lesson," said Bill O'Reilly of Fox News.
Karl Rove, the former top adviser to President Bush, appeared on the O'Reilly Factor and also attacked Hanks.
"He's a conventional Hollywood liberal. He's impervious to rational discussion.," said Rove.
Richard Pearle, former Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan administration, tells INSIDE EDITION Hanks should stick to acting.
"Tom Hanks is a very fine actor, and when he reads the lines that have been scripted for him, he does it brilliantly. When he makes up the lines himself, it can be a disaster," said Pearle.
In his interview with cnsnews.com, Hanks said, "Are you going to try and trick me into something else?"
"I'm not trying to trick you," said Nicholas A. Ballasy from cnsnews.com.
Hanks talked to the conservative news service, cnsnews.com at a ceremony at the World War II memorial in Washington. But he's standing by his remarks.
"Yes I did, didn't I? I did say that. I have talked to a lot of people who have, in the vernacular, used incredibly racist terms about the people on the other side of the fence," said Hanks.