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Martin Sheen Clarifies his Position on Zero Dark Thirty, Too Late?

Martin Sheen had been one of the voices protesting Zero Dark Thirty, urging Academy members not to vote for the film. After Bigelow was snubbed by the Academy as a result; the most critically acclaimed film was a standout this year specifically for the directing, and yet there was no party for Bigelow as there was for Ben Affleck. At any rate, the reversal:

On consideration, and widespread reports to the contrary notwithstanding, Martin Sheen said he did not believe that Oscar voters or anyone else should shun “Zero Dark Thirty.”

But speaking by telephone Wednesday, Mr. Sheen said that through his own mistake, the actors David Clennon and Ed Asner had included Mr. Sheen in their opposition to what they saw as the film’s tolerance of torture. “It’s my own fault,” said Mr. Sheen, who explained that he had agreed to a statement about the film without fully understanding that it would condemn the movie, rather than simply condemning torture.

Kathryn Bigelow, who directed “Zero Dark Thirty,” and Mark Boal, who wrote it, became aware of Mr. Sheen’s admiration for the movie when he spoke with them recently by telephone, after receiving a handwritten letter from him at the Golden Globes ceremony on Jan. 13, Mr. Boal said on Tuesday.