This weekend marked the release of the new Tom Hanks film Captain Phillips which tells the true tale of an American captain who saved his ship and his crew from Somali pirates. While the story made headlines and even got Captain Richard Phillips a date with President Obama, as well as a book deal and now a movie about his triumph, crew members that were on the ship with him are upset over just how little truth has really been told about this “true story”.
In a lengthy piece in the New York Post, one crew member steps up to say that Captain Phillips really isn’t the American hero he’s being made out to be and instead was a man with a death wish who ignored orders and nearly got his entire crew killed.
The outcry from the crew of the Maersk Alabama isn’t really anything new as a $50 million lawsuit has already been brought against Maersk Line and the Waterman Steamship Corp.which alleges that “willful, wanton and conscious disregard” for the crew’s safety. To make matter more complicated, Captain Phillips is working as a witness for the defense, testifying against his crew.
“The crew had begged Captain Phillips not to go so close to the Somali coast,” attorney Deborah Waters said, via the NY Post. “He told them he wouldn’t let pirates scare him or force him to sail away from the coast.”
Whoever the crew member talking to the Post is remains anonymous for legal reasons. Sony paid the crew as little as $5,000 for their life rights and to keep them quiet about what really happened. That’s not a mob tactic, rather it’s simply to ensure that no one from the crews gets booked for The Today Show and spills details about the movie or events that could cause issues for the production.
As it appears, there is plenty that went on those fateful days that we won’t be seeing in Captain Phillips.