Scruggs passed away in 2001 at the age of 42, while Jewell, played by Paul Walter Hauser, who is played also passed away in 2007 at the age of 44.
Monday morning, The Journal-Constitution and its parent company, Cox Communications, sent the studio, Eastwood and several other figures associated with the film a letter threatening legal action unless a disclaimer in the film and a public statement by the studio acknowledged that "some events were imagined for dramatic purposes". The film tells the real story of the eponymous jewel, a security guard who helped save people from a bomb at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, but who was later vilified by the media when it appeared that the Federal Bureau of Investigation considered him as the main suspect in the bombing.
The movie focuses on the events surrounding the discovery of a bomb at the 1996 Olympics, and the security guard who found it, who was initially hailed a hero until a media report suggested he may have planted the bomb.More news: Reasons Not to Install Galaxy S10 Android 10 & 9 Reasons You Should
The letter referred to Scruggs as "a seasoned reporter who worked proactively within appropriate journalistic bounds", adding, "Such a portrayal makes it appear that the AJC sexually exploited its staff and/or that it facilitated or condoned offering sexual gratification to sources in exchange for stories. We further demand that you add a prominent disclaimer to the film to that effect", it concluded, before warning to recipients to "disregard this letter's demands at your peril". Scruggs, played by Olivia Wilde, broke the story that suggested Jewell may have planted the explosive.
"The movie is based on a wide assortment of highly credible source material", the studio's statement said, according to The Daily Beast.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is asking for a Warner Bros. disclaimer statement in its new film "Richard Jewell", over its portrayal of a real-life journalist. "There is no disputing that Richard Jewell was an innocent man whose reputation and life were shredded by a miscarriage of justice".More news: Apple's Mac Pro will be 'available to order' this week
"Not every newspaper finds itself portrayed in a movie, and when we did, it was very upsetting to see Kathy Scruggs portrayed in a way that demeans not just her work, but the work of the AJC", Kevin Riley, editor of the AJC, tells TIME.
"The film falsely portrays AJC's reporters, and Kathy Scruggs in particular, as unethical, unprofessional and reckless", the letter claims.
Journalists are also speaking out on social websites contrary to the depiction of a female journalist trying to trade sex for information, especially since it did not occur in real life.More news: WhatsApp new feature: Get call waiting facility on Android phones
Warner Bros. has not yet responded to Deadline's request for comment.