Liz Cheney did not take kindly to the words Christian Bale used to describe her father during his Best Actor acceptance speech for playing Dick Cheney in Vice at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday night.
In addition to calling the former vice president a “charisma-free asshole,” Bale also thanked “Satan” for providing the inspiration to channel Cheney in director Adam McKay’s divisive biopic.
“Satan probably inspired him to do this, too,” the Republican congresswoman from Wyoming tweeted shortly after Bale collected his award. She included a link to an article about the actor’s 2008 arrest for allegedly “assaulting” his mother and sister. Left out of Cheney’s tweet, however, was some important context.
Bale, who was arrested just hours after The Dark Knight’s European premiere, denied the allegation against him at the time. The “assault” apparently consisted of shouting obscenities at his mother after she insulted his wife and not any type of physical attack, as Cheney seemed to insinuate. British authorities ultimately decided to dismiss the charges due to “insufficient evidence.”
In McKay’s film, Liz Cheney is portrayed as a younger woman by the actress Lily Rabe. For most of Vice, Dick Cheney’s warm relationship with his younger daughter Mary, who came out as gay during her teenage years, is used to humanize the former vice president.
Toward the end of movie, when Liz is running for a Senate seat in Wyoming, she seeks her father’s approval to denounce same-sex marriage and distance herself from her sister, who married her partner in 2012. Dick is seen nodding his head and essentially giving Liz permission to turn her back on Mary. It’s a devastating moment that reflects poorly on both figures.
After Liz went on Fox News to make her position known in the fall of 2013, her parents put out a statement supporting her decision. “This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public,” they wrote. “Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage.”
It’s unlikely that Liz Cheney has seen—or has any plans to see—Vice. If she did, she probably wouldn’t like what she saw.