News / Arts & Entertainment

CNN, NBC Scrap Hillary Clinton TV Projects

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton introduces her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and President Barack Obama at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Sept. 24, 2013.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton introduces her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and President Barack Obama at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Sept. 24, 2013.
Reuters
Two television projects focused on Hillary Clinton got the ax on Monday after the programs became embroiled in partisan wrangling, including threats by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to boycott presidential debates sponsored by CNN and NBC.
 
The filmmaker for CNN said he could not complete the project because he'd received no cooperation from either Democrats or Republicans, while industry sources said NBC's move had nothing to do with the RNC, the Clintons or NBC News, which is run separately from NBC's entertainment unit.
 
Charles Ferguson, the filmmaker responsible for the CNN documentary, wrote a scathing online essay, saying that the Democrat's camp froze him out and that Republicans had grumbled about meddling in the 2016 presidential race.
 
A CNN spokeswoman on Monday confirmed the film would be cancelled and said the decision was made by the filmmaker.
 
NBC, whose entertainment unit had been planning a dramatic four-hour miniseries starring Diane Lane as Clinton, said it was also abandoning the TV movie on Monday.
 
“After reviewing and prioritizing our slate of movie/mini-series development, we've decided that we will no longer continue developing the Hillary Clinton mini-series,” an NBC spokesman said in a statement.
 
The mini-series had already lost a production partner when Fox Television Studios passed on working with NBC in August.
 
The Republican National Committee in August had threatened to boycott any 2016 presidential debates sponsored by CNN and NBC, and RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said on Monday the RNC would no longer stage boycotts now that both networks had canceled their Clinton projects.
 
“Now that CNN and NBC have canceled their Hillary Clinton infomercials, we will work on developing a new debate model that will address the timing, frequency, moderators and venues that will come in the next few months,” Kukowski said.
 
The committee has not revealed the new model for the debates yet.
 
Although NBC did not directly say why it had decided to cancel the mini-series based on the life of the former secretary of state and first lady, industry sources called it a “tenuous” production without a script and said losing its production partner also influenced NBC's decision.
 
Clinton is widely expected to run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The former U.S. secretary of state has said she is still considering her options.
 
Clinton representative Nick Merrill said “Lights, camera, no reaction,” in an email on Monday to Reuters.
 
Director Quits
 
Ferguson, who was tapped to direct the CNN film last year, said he began receiving messages from Clinton's staff almost immediately after he signed the contract and in the ensuing months found it difficult to get anyone to speak to him.
 
“But when I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans - and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration,” Ferguson wrote.
 
In his blog post, Ferguson also cited pushback from Republicans whose leaders complained that the documentary amounted to political ads for Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York and the wife of former President Bill Clinton.
 
The filmmaker said he was not pressured by CNN to cancel the project, and that the network's president, Jeff Zucker, had pledged his support for the film.
 
Ferguson is best known for his 2010 documentary “Inside Job” a critical look at Wall Street and what led to the 2008 financial crisis. It won an Academy Award in 2011 for best documentary film. An earlier documentary he produced and directed, “No End in Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq,” received film festival awards.
 
Ferguson said he was surprised that “prominent Democrats made it known both to CNN and to me” that they weren't happy with the project.
 
“After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn't make a film of which I would be proud. And so I'm canceling,” Ferguson said in the blog post.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
September 30, 2013 7:51 PM
GOOD!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”