CNN's Hillary Biography Scrapped

Image: CNN's Hillary Biography Scrapped

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 12:26 PM

By Melanie Batley

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CNN's documentary on Hillary Clinton — which provoked the Republican Party to ban the network from covering the 2016 Republican primary debates — has been scrapped by its director because of a campaign by top Democrats, including Clinton, to stonewall the production.

In a blog for The Huffington Post, Academy Award-winning director Charles Ferguson said he canceled the film after more than 100 people he contacted declined to participate.

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"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," wrote Ferguson, who won an Oscar in 2011 for his movie "Inside Job."

He said he wasn't surprised by Republican opposition to the project, and added that, "quietly and privately, prominent Democrats made it known both to CNN and to me that they weren't delighted with the film, either."

"Neither political party wanted the film made. After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn't make a film of which I would be proud. And so I'm cancelling," he wrote.

Ferguson emphasized that his decision did not result from pressure imposed by CNN, adding, "It's a victory for the Clintons, and for the money machines that both political parties have now become. But I don't think that it's a victory for the media or for the American people."

Both the CNN biography and an NBC miniseries about Clinton's life were announced in August, prompting Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to call them a partisan attempt to promote Clinton, who is expected to run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He issued an ultimatum to both networks to cancel or lose access to the debates.

The RNC subsequently launched paid ads against the networks and then voted unanimously to ban the networks from airing the party's 2016 primary debates.

NBC already has said its miniseries may never get made.

A CNN spokesperson said in a statement to The Huffington Post: "Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton. Charles is an Academy Award winning director who CNN Films was excited to be working with, but we understand and respect his decision."

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