(Fixes garbled sentence in 3rd paragraph)
By Liana B. Baker and Gabriel Debenedetti
Sept 30 Cable news network CNN has canceled a
documentary on Hillary Rodham Clinton after the director said
pressure from the Clinton camp as well as Republican leaders
made it too difficult to complete the film.
A CNN spokeswoman confirmed on Monday that the program would
be canceled, saying director "Charles Ferguson has informed us
that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary
Political observers widely expect Clinton to run for
president in 2016 as her early polling numbers make her the
Democratic frontrunner. Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of
State, has said she is still considering her options.
In a blog post on the Huffington Post website,
Ferguson, who had been tapped by CNN to direct to the film last
year, said pressure from Clinton's aides started as soon as he
joined the project. He said he had found it difficult to get
anyone to cooperate and speak about Clinton.
"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, (who) wants access to the Clintons,
or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration,"
Ferguson said in the blog post.
Clinton representatives could not be reached for comment.
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.
Ferguson also cited pushback from the Republican Party. In
August, Republican leaders sent letters of protest to both CNN
and NBC, complaining that their planned programs amounted to
political ads for Clinton, the wife of former President Bill
The NBC television network is planning a dramatic
miniseries from its entertainment unit, which is separate from
its news division. NBC did not immediately return a request for
comment on Monday.
Republican leaders had resolved to boycott any 2016
presidential debates sponsored by CNN, which is owned by Time
Warner Inc, and NBC, owned by Comcast Corp, if
the networks went ahead with the projects.
Ferguson said he was not pressured by CNN to cancel the
project, and that the network's president, Jeff Zucker, had
pledged his support behind the film.
"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," Ferguson said in the
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York and Gabriel
Debenedetti in Washington; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)