CNN said on Monday (30) it had cancelled its Hillary Clinton documentary after Oscar-winning director Charles Ferguson pulled out due to what he described as difficulties in getting potential interviewees to talk and wide political disapprobation.
The company issued a release saying it respected Ferguson’s decision. The filmmaker won the best documentary Oscar in 2011 for his financial crisis film Inside Job.
In an article on The Huffington Post earlier in the day, Ferguson said CNN Films had approached him in 2012 to direct a film. The parties eventually settled on a film about Clinton, Barack Obama’s former Secretary Of State who is tipped to run for the Presidency in 2016.
But the project fell apart after Ferguson claimed he repeatedly came up against a wall of silence.
“[W]hen I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film,” Ferguson wrote. “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 continued: “After approaching well over a hundred people, only two persons who had ever dealt with Mrs. Clinton would agree to an on-camera interview, and I suspected that even they would back out.”
Later on he wrote: “After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn’t make a film of which I would be proud. And so I’m cancelling. (Not because of any pressure from CNN – quite the contrary.) 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.”
- Later on Monday NBC said it was pulling the plug on its Hillary Clinton mini-series. In August Fox TV Studios confirmed it would no longer be producing the biopic show.