Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been threatened with jail for using his phone in a New York City court where a jury is being picked for his rape trial.
Judge James Burke asked him: “Is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting and violating a court order?”
The judge instructed Harvey Weinstein, who is out on bail, not to answer the question.
He faces five charges and possibly life in jail if convicted.
The allegations include rape and assault relating to two unnamed accusers. He is charged with raping one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013, and performing a forcible sex act on the second woman in 2006.
On January 6, Harvey Weinstein was charged with an additional two counts in Los Angeles: rape and assault.
He has denied all charges and insists any encounters were consensual.
According to local media, on January 7, Harvey Weinstein, 67, was caught using two mobile phones in court. He had already been admonished by Judge Burke at previous court appearances for using a handset.
Judge Burke said: “What did I say would happen if he so much has a cellphone or electronic device since there have been repeated violations of this, including some on the record?”
“I believe you said remand,” Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer replied after a heated exchange, meaning to put his client in jail.
Lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi urged Judge Burke to jail Harvey Weinstein, who is out on $5 million bail. He is required to wear an electronic tracking device.
“There is a grave risk that this defendant at some point will realize that the evidence against him is imposing and overwhelming” and he will try to escape, Joan Illuzzi said.
Judge Burke ultimately declined to revoke Harvey Weinstein’s bail, but told the former movie mogul he would not get any further warning.
“I’m not looking for apologies,” Judge Burke said.
“I’m looking for compliance.”
In court, Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, asked Judge Burke to delay jury selection, arguing that the jury pool had been tarnished by the extensive press coverage of the Los Angeles charges filed on January 6.
Judge Burke rejected the defense request.
After jury selection, Harvey Weinstein’s New York trial is expected to begin in around two weeks.
From Matt Lauer to Harvey Weinstein, the world has been rocked by sexual harassment allegations and revelations. And while there’s no telling whether there are more shocks to come, what’s very clear is that we still have a lot of work to do as a society to make the workplace and the world in general a safer place for everyone. Through the experiences of others there are so many lessons we can learn about missteps we’ve made and how we can correct them. Here are top lessons we can learn from the #MeToo campaign.
Victims Risk Their Reputations When They Come Forward
Whether we want to admit it or not, the things people who are brave enough to share on the workplace abuse they experienced or the fraud in the companies face is what keeps so many silent. They are humiliated, shunned and even harassed. In the case of sexual harassment, people tend to blame the victim and try to discredit them by any means necessary. This means that before the perpetrator can even face justice, the victim or witness is put through the ringer for just telling the truth. It’s so important than the men and woman who come forward in order to have protection and support of people around them. According to JF Melton Law, “Whistleblowers take great risks, so getting a reward for that risk is key. It is imperative that they have whistleblower protection to ensure a) the largest reward possible is given and b) the whistleblower is protected under the law.”
When Power Goes Unchecked, Bad Things Happen
The one thing stories like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and R. Kelly all have in common is abusers being able to get away with what they do for decades. Because these people rise to the upper echelons of society, people often turn a blind eye to their deeds, or the ones that see are threatened into silence. These unfortunately repeats the cycle of abuse, and emboldens the abuser. We have to be able to ask questions of the men and women we put up on pedestals, and take them to task when they do something wrong. If we repeatedly turn a blind eye, all that does is make them feel invincible and double down on the abuse.
We Have to Separate Talent From Character
If there’s anything we need to learn as a society it’s that an artistic genius or talented person can still be an abuser, and no matter how talented they are, they don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. In fact, the men and women we look up to as role models have to hold themselves to a higher standard. They should be examples of respect, good character and integrity, not people we let get away with anything and everything. If they decide to display horrible behavior, harassing people and destroying their lives, we as a society have to speak out against that and stop putting money in their pockets. We need to stop treating famous and powerful people as gods who can move through society with no accountability or responsibility for their negative actions.
We Need to Have More Conversations
Whether it’s at work, at universities or even in the privacy of our own homes, we have to have conversations about harassment and abuses of power. Many victims struggle to come forward because they either think they did something to ask for the abuse, or they don’t think what happened to them was an abuse of power. If we were to have more open conversation about the spectrum of abuse and how it manifests in behavior, we could raise the standards of how we treat each other. We would make it so much easier for victims to use their voices. In a lot of companies, employees have had to discuss what sexual harassment looks like and this awareness actually makes the workplace safer. We need to extend that to the whole society.
The #MeToo movement lifted the lid on so many abuses and though it wasn’t always perfect, it forced us to start having the necessary conversations that make our world safer for everyone else. When we work for companies, our safety is their responsibility, and just as our employers expect want to be sure that we have integrity when they hire us, we expect the same from them. We expect to be safe from abuse and harassment, to be treated with respect at all the time, and for any incidents of abuse to be dealt with accordingly, not swept under the rug.
One of the accusers of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was told by police to delete any files from her phone that she wanted to keep private, prosecutors have admitted.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said the complainant was told by a detective to “delete anything she did not want anyone to see”.
Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer said the development “undermines” the case.
He faces charges involving alleged assaults on two women. The Hollywood producer denies the charges.
Joan Illuzzi-Orbon wrote in a letter to Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman: “My office had asked Complainant 2 to produce any and all cell phones that she might have used during the time she interacted with the defendant.”
However, she adds that the woman said she was then advised to remove files “before providing the phones to our office”.
Despite this advice, the woman still provided the phones used to communicate with Harvey Weinstein “without any deletions”, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said.
Ben Brafman later released a statement in response to the letter, saying the news “further undermines the integrity of an already deeply flawed indictment of Mr. Weinstein”.
The lawyer earlier requested that the entire case be dismissed.
Last week a charge against Harvey Weinstein by actress Lucia Evans was dismissed by a judge in New York after she was said to have given a differing account of events.
Hervey Weinstein has been accused of assault by more than 70 women.
The accusations against the producer helped awaken the #MeToo movement, which has seen hundreds of women accusing high-profile men in business, government and entertainment of sexual abuse and harassment.
Harvey Weinstein, 66, has agreed to wear a GPS tracker and to surrender his passport.
The film mogul also faces additional investigations in Los Angeles and London, and by the US federal government.
Harvey Weinstein, who has been on $1 million bail since his arrest in May, denies having non-consensual contacts, his lawyers have previously said.
Jimmy Bennett says in the documents that the encounter traumatized him and threatened his mental health and career, the New York Times reported.
He had played Asia Argento’s young son in a 2004 film.
In the documents seen by the paper, Asia Argento’s lawyer said that the money was given to Jimmy Bennett to help him, and that it was Argento who had been preyed upon.
In a statement published by Vanity Fair, a lawyer for Jimmy Bennett said his client would not comment but would take the “next 24 hours, or longer, to prepare his response”.
A lawyer for Harvey Weinstein said the development revealed “a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento”.
Another high-profile accuser of Harvey Weinstein, Rose McGowan, has also reacted to the reports, tweeting: “I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere. None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed. Be gentle.”
According to a New York Times report, the charges relate to an allegation brought by actress Lucia Evans.
The actress detailed her accusations against Harvey Weinstein in an article in the New Yorker in October 2017.
It is not clear if the former producer will face more charges brought by other accusers.
It is known that New York police have been investigating allegations of rape made by actress Paz de la Huerta.
This month Netflix producer Alexandra Canosa files court papers in New York alleging Harvey Weinstein raped, assaulted and verbally abused her over a five-year period.
The statute of limitations will be an issue in some cases but it is not thought to apply in the Evans case. Even if the limitations apply, a judge could still call women to testify to establish a pattern of behavior, as in the recent trial of Bill Cosby.
Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has not commented on reports that his client will imminently turn himself in.
The Times said Harvey Weinstein would surrender on May 25 and be arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court.
Harvey Weinstein has faced accusations of harassment and assault from dozens of women. Some have alleged rape.
Kate Beckinsale, Lysette Anthony and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the high-profile figures to have spoken out.
The civil rights lawsuit against the company alleges that Harvey Weinstein harassed and abused women employed by the studio for years, as well as making verbal threats to kill staff members.
It accuses senior executives at the company, including Harvey Weinstein’s brother Robert, of failing to prevent the mistreatment of staff despite being presented with evidence.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking an unspecified sum to cover damages, plus penalties, for victims of alleged abuse.
A lawyer for Harvey Weinstein has said a “fair investigation” will show that many of the allegations are without merit, while the company’s board of directors has said many of the allegations relating to the board are “inaccurate”.
The allegations against Harvey Weinstein first surfaced in October 2017, when the New York Times published a story detailing decades of allegations of harassment against the mogul.
Since then, more than 50 women, among them some of the biggest names in Hollywood, have accused Harvey Weinstein of assault, harassment, abuse and rape.
In the wake of the allegations, Harvey Weinstein was sacked by the board of his company.
He has admitted that his behavior has “caused a lot of pain” but has described many of the allegations against him as “patently false”.
Harvey Weinstein is under investigation by UK and US police, but no criminal charges have been brought.
The state of New York is suing The Weinstein Company, alleging that the studio failed to protect staff from Harvey Weinstein.
Harvey Weinstein, 65, is facing dozens of allegations of abuse, including rape, but denies non-consensual acts.
The lawsuit filed by New York prosecutors alleges Harvey Weinstein abused female employees and made verbal threats to kill staff members.
However, Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer said a “fair investigation” would show that many of the allegations were without merit.
The Weinstein Company’s board of directors said it was “disappointed” by the lawsuit.
On February 11, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that he had filed the suit against The Weinstein Company, as well as Harvey Weinstein and his brother Robert, who co-founded the studio.
Eric Schneiderman is seeking an unspecified sum to cover damages, plus penalties, for victims of alleged abuse by Harvey Weinstein.
The document alleges that Harvey Weinstein harassed and abused women employed by the studio for years.
It accuses senior executives at the company, including Robert Weinstein, of failing to prevent the mistreatment of staff despite being presented with evidence.
The suit casts doubt over the sale of The Weinstein Company, which has been battling bankruptcy and is in talks with investors.
Eric Schneiderman said his investigation was continuing, but he had brought the suit out of concern that a possible sale would leave alleged victims without adequate compensation, and could benefit “perpetrators or enablers”.
It is reported that businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet has led talks to buy the studio for $500 million.
However, after news of the suit emerged, negotiations are now said to be on hold.
According to Variety, investors baulked at the prospect of the lawsuit adding conditions to the sale.
In October 2017, The New York Times published a story detailing decades of allegations of harassment against Harvey Weinstein.
Since then more than 50 women, among them some of the biggest names in Hollywood, have accused him assault, harassment, abuse and rape.
In the wake of the allegations, Harvey Weinstein was sacked by the board of his company.
Kathleen Kennedy said: “The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power.”
Anita Hill brought harassment to national prominence in the US in 1991 when she publically testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had harassed her when he was her boss at the Department for Education and at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
After her private allegations were leaked to the press, Anita Hill testified publicly at a televised investigative committee where her allegations came under attack. He was eventually confirmed in the position, despite her testimony.
Now a professor at Brandeis University in Boston, she said it was “time to end the culture of silence”.
She said: “I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.
“I’m proud to be leading this newly-formed Commission on a long overdue journey to adopt best practices and to create institutional change that fosters a culture of respect and human dignity throughout the industry.”
“We will be focusing on issues ranging from power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, harassment guidelines, education and training, reporting and enforcement, ongoing research, and data collection,” she added.
Charlie Rose is one of America’s most respected broadcasters.
He is known for conducting in-depth interviews, including with such high-profile guests as former President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffett, on his eponymous television program which first aired in 1991.
Charlie Rose, whose show goes out on PBS and Bloomberg TV, also co-hosts CBS’s This Morning and is a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes.
His interviews have won him Emmy and Peabody awards, and he was named by Time magazine as one of its 100 most influential people in 2014.
PBS quickly suspended distribution of the Charlie Rose show following the allegations, which they described as “deeply disturbing”.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Charlie Rose said: “I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed.
“I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
Numerous high-profile figures, including Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein have been accused of harassment in recent weeks.
The accusations were sparked by multiple women speaking out against Harvey Weinstein, and a subsequent campaign encouraging victims to share their stories of harassment under the #metoo hashtag.
Rebel Wilson also recounted a second incident which she described as a “hotel room encounter with a top director”.
“Nothing physical happened because the guy’s wife called and started abusing him over the phone for sleeping with actresses… I bolted out of there immediately,” she said.
Wilson added: “If I witness this behavior, whether it happens to me or someone I know, I will no longer be polite.”
A growing number of harassment and rape allegations have been made against public figures in recent weeks.
The allegations have been sparked by multiple women speaking out against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, and a subsequent campaign encouraging victims to share their stories of sexual harassment under the #metoo hashtag.
According to a new report, Harvey Weinstein used ex-Israeli agents to spy on his accusers.
Italian actress and director Asia Argento has described the New Yorker report as “terrifying”.
Reporter Ronan Farrow has published a story claiming Harvey Weinstein used private investigators to try to cover up abuse claims.
Asia Argento has accused Harvey Weinstein of rape.
Harvey Weinstein’s spokesperson denied that “any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time”.
In his New Yorker story, Ronan Farrow alleged that Harvey Weinstein employed two intelligence companies, Kroll and Black Cube, to try to collect information on several women and on journalists trying to expose the allegations.
Black Cube advertises itself as “a select group of veterans from the Israeli elite intelligence units”. The New Yorker said they included former members of Israeli spy agency Mossad.
After the story was published, Asia Argento tweeted: “Why didn’t I, @rosemcgowan, @RoArquette @AnnabellSciorra speak up earlier? We were followed by ex-Mossad agents. Isn’t that terrifying? Very.”
The Sopranos star Annabella Sciorra and Rose McGowan have also accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual contacts.
Ronan Farrow’s report alleges that two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met Rose McGowan to “extract information” from her in an effort to stop the publication of abuse allegations. One of the investigators is reported to have posed as a women’s rights advocate.
Rose McGowan praised Ronan Farrow for his investigation, writing on Twitter that “your words will line the halls of justice”.
Annabella Sciorra told the New Yorker that the alleged use of private investigators by Harvey Weinstein had scared her “because I knew what it meant to be threatened by Harvey”, adding: “I was in fear of him finding me.”
The New Yorker also reported that one intelligence company held a profile of Rosanna Arquette, who has also accused Harvey Weinstein of harassment.
Harvey Weinstein’s spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister dismissed the report, saying: “It is a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time.”
Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, director Brett Ratner and NPR senior editor Michael Oreskes the latest high-profile figures to be accused of harassment.
Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman have been accused of misconduct and have issued apologies.
Meanwhile, six women have accused Brett Ratner, director of the Rush Hour movie series and X-Men: The Last Stand, of harassment or misconduct.
Brett Ratner’s lawyer “categorically” denied all of the accusations on his behalf.
A representative for Kevin Spacey released a short statement to the media, saying the actor “is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment. No other information is available at this time”.
A growing number of allegations have been made against public figures in recent weeks.
The allegations have been sparked by multiple women speaking out against the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, and a subsequent campaign encouraging victims to share their stories of harassment under the #metoo hashtag.
New allegations have emerged from a number of men accusing Kevin Spacey of misconduct.
Director Tony Montana claims he was groped by Kevin Spacey in a Los Angeles bar in 2003. He says he was left with PTSD for six months after the incident.
Tony Montana told Radar Online that he was in his thirties when the incident took place at the Coronet Bar in LA.
It follows an allegation made by Anthony Rapp that Kevin Spacey tried to “seduce” him when he was 14 years old.
Kevin Spacey says he has no recollection of that encounter, and was “beyond horrified”.
Incidents regarding Kevin Spacey are also alleged to have taken place in the UK while the Oscar-winning actor was the artistic director at the Old Vic in London between 2004 and 2015.
Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos, who acted in several plays at the theater, claims Kevin Spacey “routinely preyed” on young male actors.
Six women have accused Director Brett Ratner of harassment or misconduct.
The women, including The Newsroom actress Olivia Munn, made the allegations in the Los Angeles Times.
Natasha Henstridge, who appeared in Species and The Whole Ten Yards, claimed she had been forced into an act with Brett Ratner as a teenager.
The actress, now 43, was a 19-year-old model at the time she alleges Brett Ratner stopped her from leaving a room at his New York apartment and then made her perform an act on him.
“He strong-armed me in a real way,” Natasha Henstridge told the LA Times.
“He physically forced himself onto me.”
Brett Ratner’s lawyer “categorically” denied all of the accusations on his behalf in response to the article.
Separately, the director filed a libel case in Hawaii against a woman who accused him on Facebook of rape more than 10 years ago.
Brett Ratner says he has stepped away from dealings with movie studio Warner Bros since the allegations came to light.
Meanwhile, Dustin Hoffman has been accused of harassing an intern on the set of one of his movies in 1985.
Anna Graham Hunter, a writer, says that when she was 17, Dustin Hoffman groped her and made inappropriate comments to her.
Dustin Hoffman apologized, and said he was sorry if he “put her in an uncomfortable situation”.
In a statement to the magazine, the Oscar-winning actor said: “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”
Senior editor Michael Oreskes has resigned from National Public Radio (NPR) following accusations he kissed female colleagues without their consent during business meetings.
The 63-year-old was asked to step down by the network in response to the allegations. He has previously worked for the Associated Press and the New York Times.
Two women spoke to the Washington Post on condition of anonymity, and reported stories of abrupt and unexpected kisses during business meetings. They said they were worried about career development if their names were made public.
One of the women said that while she met Michael Oreskes in the hope of getting a job with the New York Times, he suggested that they eat room service lunch in a hotel, before he unexpectedly kissed her and “slipped his tongue into her mouth”.
Michael Oreskes has not commented publicly on the allegations, and journalists at NPR report that they have tried to contact him for comment, without success.
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein recently hinted that Jennifer Lawrence wants to take time off from her hectic work schedule.
Jennifer Lawrence, 23, has denied she is taking a hiatus from Hollywood as she enjoyed a series of successes thanks to her roles in The Hunger Games and X-Men franchises, as well as her Oscar-winning turn in Silver Linings Playbook.
Harvey Weinstein recently hinted that Jennifer Lawrence wants to take time off from her hectic work schedule
However, during an interview with MTV News on the red carpet at Sunday’s Oscars, the American Hustle star insisted she is not ready to give up her time in the spotlight just yet.
She joked: “That’s just Harvey [Weinstein] being an idiot. No, he’s not being an idiot, I don’t know. I would like to take a year off, that would be a dream. I’d like to if I could.”
Jennifer Lawrence is currently filming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2.
Conservatives feared SEAL Team Six, the film about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, was an underhanded propaganda ploy by President Barack Obama’s supporters.
But the made-for-TV movie, released two days before the elections, was a flop. When it debuted on Sunday, it was panned by TV critics as a “dim and simple-minded work of fiction” – incapable of swaying even the most ambivalent voters.
SEAL Team Six was produced by one of Barack Obama’s biggest backers in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein, who rushed it forward to ensure it debuted before November 6.
Harvey Weinstein also oversaw editing changes that played up Barack Obama’s role in ordering the May 2011 commando assault into Pakistan that killed the al-Qaeda leader.
Fact-checkers also point out several inaccuracies in the movie – including the idea that then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates opposed going after Osama bin Laden.
SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden was billed as a political game-changer – released just a two days before the dead-even election between Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, conservatives feared it would give the president free propaganda and unfairly sway voters at a critical time.
Barack Obama has campaigned on his role in the death of the 9/11 mastermind – frequently touting: “GM is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
The film casts the president as an “edited-in-costar”, writes Ken Tucker, an Entertainment Weekly film critic.
Baltimore Sun critic David Zurawick panned the movie as suffering the same flaws as most made-for-TV docu-dramas – but he said the film had a clear political objective.
“<<SEAL Team Six>> feels more like propaganda at times than it does prime-time entertainment. Yet it will still leave you with a feel-good surge, if not a lump in your throat, at the end when the team returns from its mission. And that visceral response makes you want to believe even more in the heroic actions you just witnessed. One of those heroes is President Barack Obama,” he wrote.
SEAL Team Six was produced by one of Barack Obama’s biggest backers in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein, who rushed it forward to ensure it debuted before November 6
It splices in several pieces of real-life footage of the president at the time – including footage of him cracking jokes at the White House Correspondents dinner on the eve of the raid, as well as his remarks to the country after Osama bin Laden’s death.
But TV critics say the movie, which aired on National Geographic, fizzled.
“As either propaganda or realist fiction <<SEAL Team Six>> is ineffective. It’s on the level of those <<The army is just like a character-building video game!>> enlistment ads you see before movies, simple-minded and, at most, superficially rousing. Barack Obama probably isn’t wild about help this dim,” writes Willa Paskin of Salon.com.
Ken Tucker said the cheesy banter between the actors playing Navy SEALS sounded like it had been “checked out from a well-preserved World War II supply closet”.
Example: “In this world you don’t get to live free without working for it. You gotta earn it every day, and that day we did,” a commando named Cherry, played by Anson Mount, declares.
Among the other sins in the movie is its unhealthy blend of fact and fiction, critics say. It even gets several key points dead wrong.
It portrays Defense Secretary Robert Gates as opposed to the raid – a role that makes Barack Obama’s decision to attack even more heroic.
However, Robert Gates was initially skeptical of sending commandos into Pakistan because he wasn’t certain bin Laden was actually at the compound in Abbottabad. He later changed his position when it was confirmed the terrorist leader was inside.
The movie also shows a dramatic firefight in the building where Osama bin Laden was killed. Most accounts of the raid say that the only exchange was fire was in a guest house when Osama bin Laden’s courier shot at the SEALs.
President Barack Obama will be featured front and center in an upcoming film which telling the story of the heroics of the elite SEAL team who brought down Osama bin Laden, thanks to heavy re-editing, it has been revealed.
SEAL Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden, backed by Academy Award-winning producer Harvey Weinstein, is set to air on November 4, two days before the election, and has been re-cut from its original format to feature more prominently the Commander-in-Chief.
But news of the edit has sparked an outcry with some Republicans who alleged that Harvey Weinstein, who is a known supporter of the president, is trying to sway the election.
According to the New York Times, which was provided an advanced copy of the film, additional documentary footage was added in, showing Barack Obama’s behind-the-scenes role during the covert operation.
There is a cut of Barack Obama a night before the raid at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, as well as a shot of the president taking a lonely walk.
The film also includes Barack Obama saying: “Justice has been done,” the Times reported.
The 90-minute drama, which is set to air on the National Geographic channel on November 4, focuses on SEAL Team Six and their dangerous mission to bring down the former al-Qaeda leader. A streaming version will be available 24 hours after the first air date on Netflix.
Because it focuses on one of the president’s shining moments in office, Republicans have blasted the network for being partisan.
An article on Fox Nation is entitled “Hollywood editing movies to help Obama win”, though it links back to the original New York Times article.
One angry commenter on the Fox Nation site wrote: “Democrats will do ANYTHING to re-elect Obama…I don’t even want to ponder what they may try to do next.”
Barack Obama, pictured in the Situation Room on May 1, 2011
However, National Geographic Chanel’s president Howard T. Owens told the Hollywood Reporter earlier this month that the claims were not the case, saying simply: “We’re not trying for this to be political film.”
Rather, Howard T. Owens said that the movie was a “great opportunity” to turn potential viewers on some of their other programs in its fall schedule.
He also told the Times in a phone interview Tuesday that a scene featuring Mitt Romney appearing to oppose the raid was removed.
“We wouldn’t air this if it were propaganda,” he explained.
The president and his campaign had nothing to do with the creation of the movie, Harvey Weinstein said.
The producer also noted that he has been a supporter of Republican candidates, like New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Times reported that Harvey Weinstein purchased the rights to the movie for around $2.5 million at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The Weinstein Co. film is directed by John Stockwell, known for directing Top Gun and Turistas.
It was produced by Harvey Weinstein, along with The Hurt Locker’s Nicolas Chartier.
John Stockwell told the Times on Tuesday that the re-edit was meant to bring a deeper sense of reality to it.
Harvey Weinstein added that some of the footage was collected by producer Meghan O’Hara, who has in turn worked for polarizing documentarian Michael Moore on projects like Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11.
The film comes ahead of December’s bigger-budget Zero Dark Thirty, directed by The Hurt Locker’s Kathryn Bigelow, which will be released by Sony Pictures.