The Real-Life Controversy Behind Annette Bening’s Netflix Movie Explained

Diana Nyad has continued to be a controversial figure in the open water swimming community; WOWSA released an article declaiming the validity of “Nyad” before its release in August 2023. In the release, the organization claims Nyad made up her own rules for the Cuba-to-Florida swim, that Steven Munatones — the organization’s former leader and founder — acted as a consultant for the film but is no longer affiliated with them, and that it remains unable to ratify Nyad’s swim as there is insufficient data. The organization claims she promised to deliver this data but never did. Nyad, meanwhile, continues to maintain the validity of her swim.

The crew behind “Nyad” are more than willing to stand behind their real-life subject. Co-producer Jimmy Chin told Vanity Fair in August 2023 that they examined the claims against their subject and found them to be false. “I’m just a little tired of the internet trying to tear down a woman who’s complicated and outspoken and owns who she is,” co-director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi told the magazine. 

“Nyad” is currently streaming on Netflix.

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