Ever since Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper stormed the US box office the film has been the subject of many debates. But amidst the controversy over the film’s depiction of Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL with the most kills in U.S. history, another debate has risen online among moviegoers. Just what is going on with that fake baby?

Bradley Cooper in American SniperBradley Cooper in American Sniper

To give some context for those who have not yet seen the film, in one scene Sienna Miller hands Bradley Cooper what must be the most plastic looking baby in recent cinematic history. Cooper then holds and pats the baby for just over one minute and even manages to make the doll’s hand move.

The online furore surrounding the #fakebaby began when writer Mark Harris tweeted, "That plastic baby in American Sniper is going to be rationalized by [Clint] Eastwood auteur cultists until the end of days.”

More: Is American Sniper's Chris Kyle Really a Coward?

So why would a film with a budget of nearly $60 million dollars and which has gone on to be nominated for a slew of awards use such a cheap, fake looking prop?

Well it wasn't long before screenwriter and executive producer Jason Hall weighed in tweeting, "Hate to ruin the fun but real baby #1 showed up with a fever. Real baby #2 was no show. (Clint voice) Gimme the doll, kid.” However the tweet has since been deleted.

But Hall’s explanation has done nothing to stop viewers and critics alike having a pop at the fake baby, with E! News reporting that an audience even laughed out loud in one theatre when the 'now-infamous toy hit the big screen'.

Writing in the Las Vegas Informer, Victoria Alexander said she believed the movie would be so much better if Eastwood had "left out the annoying, under-written personal story—and the glaring fake babies. How about that fake breastfeeding scene?” While the 'Today' show’s Savannah Guthrie joked, “That’s why Bradley Cooper is such a good actor. He had to act opposite of a fake baby."

More: 'American Sniper' Shows Bradley Cooper's Beefy Side

The fake baby of course isn’t the only controversy American Sniper has caused since it’s release. A debate about the film’s depiction of Kyle was ignited when filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse.”

While actor Seth Rogen wrote that American Sniper reminded him of a scene about Nazi propaganda in the film Inglorious Bastards. Both Rogen and Moore have since said their comments were taken out of context.