|Hitler Miniseries Executive
Fired Over His Views on Bush |
By Lisa de Moraes
WASHINGTON -- No sooner does CBS tamp down
criticism that its upcoming Hitler miniseries would humanize
the infamous German figure than it gets hit with a much bigger
Hitler headache, compliments of TV Guide.
This time, the executive in charge of
producing the miniseries has been canned.
Ed Gernon, longtime head of the movie
and miniseries division of Canadian-based production company
Alliance Atlantis, was let go because of an interview he gave
regarding CBS's May sweeps miniseries "Hitler: The Rise of
Evil," which airs May 18 and 20.
April 12 TV Guide, the publication says, "Gernon stated his
belief that fear fueled both the Bush administration's
adoption of a pre-emptive-strike policy and the public's
acceptance of it." According to the article, "Gernon said a
similar fearfulness in a devastated post-World War I Germany
was 'absolutely' behind that nation's acceptance of Hitler's
Gernon is quoted as saying
of the miniseries, which tracks Hitler's rise to power in
1930s Germany: "It basically boils down to an entire nation
gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil
rights and plunged the whole world into war.
"I can't think of a better time to
examine this history than now," he added.
copy of the article was given to the New York Post -- both it
and TV Guide are publications of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
The newspaper's Page Six gossip column did a short bit on it
last Thursday, under the heading "Rise of Lunacy at CBS."
"The scraping sound you hear next month
will be Hollywood's anti-Americanism hitting bottom with the
CBS movie 'Hitler: The Rise of Evil,' " the item bellowed.
"Gernon tells the upcoming TV Guide
that he, [actress Julianna] Margulies and director Christian
Duguay believe it's a good idea to look at the Bush White
House through the prism of . . . Germany's genocidal
Thursday, the same paper's
John Podhoretz got in on the act:
"Well, the CBS television network just devoted millions of
dollars and will devote four hours of prime time to a
miniseries dedicated to the 'Bush Hitler' proposition.
"In an eye-opening article published
this week by TV Guide, journalist Mark Lasswell reveals that
the creative team behind the upcoming docudrama 'Hitler: The
Rise of Evil' believes their story is important because it
might open our eyes to America's rapid descent into
"When CBS first announced it was going
to air this miniseries, there were substantive protests from
Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors that it might humanize
Hitler. CBS took those complaints seriously enough to scrap
the first teleplay and commission another.
"What they commissioned, it appears, is
an act of slander against the president of the United States
-- and by extension, toward the United States itself."
So yesterday was Gernon's last day of
work at Alliance Atlantis.
We have this
from a rep for the company to whom we were referred when we
called to try to speak to Gernon.
matter of policy, we don't discuss any individual's employment
status. We're not about to start now," Alliance Atlantis said
in an e-mail to us.