If your deliberate, negligent actions directly caused a car accident, but you helped save the life of one of the crash victims, should you be heralded as a hero? We might be torn, but ultimately the court of public opinion would rule that you're a dipshit.

So why all the love for Captain Richard Phillips, including an Oscar nod for the movie?

What many people, or at least those I know who loved the movie, don't realize is one major, glaring, critical detail: Captain Phillips received multiple warnings that there were pirates in the area and to stay at least 600 miles off the coast of Somalia, but he ignored those warnings in favor of a more direct and faster route. (When pirates hijacked the ship, the Maersk Alabama was about 250 miles off the coast.)

That's right. Captain Phillips deliberately and knowingly steered his ship into pirate-infested waters. His actions guaranteed there was going to be an attack.

"It's almost like he wanted to be captured," the ship's chief engineer, Mike Perry.

No wonder more than half the Maersk Alabama's crew is suing company owner and operator of the ship. The Captain's response?

"We live in a litigious society," Phillips said. "So I can't really talk about what their complaint is. Their complaint is with the company, so it's not my place."


So much for taking responsibility. I guess that's why the rest of the crew members weren't joining Captain Phillips in the public eye during his book tour.

Given these critical details, why did Hollywood not only insist on making a movie but also give this "true story" an Oscar nomination? Sure Captain Phillip's actions throughout the ordeal were no doubt heroic. But I still can't get past the premise that he literally caused this problem in the first place.


Is Hollywood that starved for original content and story ideas that it would think Captain Phillips' story is worth telling? I can't understand what Captain Phillips should be rewarded for and why. I suspect no one can answer that question.