After calling Top Gun: Maverick “insidious” and “poisonous” before tonight’s Oscars, Zeeshan Aleem has attracted a lot of backlash.

Given its positive representation of the American military, Aleem argued that the film should not have won an Oscar since it “beckons for a return to accepting the American war machine as a beacon of virtue and excitement.”

Critics who were offended by his opinion quickly backed the film online, calling his comments ‘pathetic’.

Also Read: ‘Almost too cheap’: Quentin Tarantino criticises Top Gun Maverick

Who is Zeeshan Aleem?

Zeeshan Aleem is an opinion editor for MSNBC who has come under scrutiny recently for his comments on the hit blockbuster, Top Gun: Maverick.

Aleem admitted that he did not enjoy the movie as much as the vast majority of American moviegoers. The journalist criticized it for being “as insidious as it is entertaining,” even though he acknowledged that it was refreshing to see the brilliant live-action aerial battle scenes featuring real people and real planes.

Also Read: Why Top Gun 2 beating Avengers: Infinity War at US box office is impressive

It is a war fantasy ‘that could actually play out in real life,’ he wrote.

‘War is portrayed purely as a source of glory and camaraderie for Maverick and his colleagues, who are all attractive people and manage to pull off their daring mission with zero casualties. Their training involves speed, sport, and glamour,’ he continued.

In Aleem’s opinion, the film was pure propaganda and was positioned to become recognized as a highly decorated movie before the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 12.

Also Read: Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick’s cinematography snub at Oscars 2023 leaves fans disappointed

The action movie, which nearly single-handedly revived the failing film industry post the COVID-19 lockdowns’ stagnation, has received six Oscar nominations, including “Best Picture.” Aleem stated in his remarks that it is “remarkable” that an action film like Top Gun was selected as the best picture nominee. He also expressed his wish that the film “tanks” during the big awards event on Sunday as a symbol of disapproval of the defense industry.