From the e-mail box:
The Disney execs met all through the weekend – unheard of in this business – debating what changes would be made and what concessions should be given. Here is what looks to be the conclusion:
– There will be a handful of tweaks made to a few scenes.
– They are minor, and nuance in most cases – a line lift here, a tweak to the edit there.
– There are 900 screeners out there. When this airs this weekend, there will be a number of people who will spend their free evenings looking for these changes and will be hard pressed to identify them. They are that minor.
– The average viewer would not be able to tell the difference between the two versions.
– The message of the Clinton Admin failures remains fully intact.
The story here is the backlash that the Disney/ABC execs experienced was completely unexpected and is what caused them to question themselves and make these changes at all. Had this been the Bush Admin pressuring, they wouldn’t have even taken the call. The execs and studio bosses are dyed in the wool liberals and huge supporters of Clinton and the Democratic Party in general. They had no idea any of this could happen. As I understand this, the lawyers and production team spent literally months corroborating every story point down to the sentence. The fact that they were the attacked and vilified by their “own team” took them completely by surprise; this is the first time they’ve been labeled right-wing, conservative conspiracists.
The scramble caused by this backlash was so all consuming that the execs spent their holiday weekend behind closed door meetings and revamped their ad campaign. But at the end of their mad scramble, they found only a handful of changes they could make and still be true to the events. The changes are done only to appease the Clinton team – to be able to say they made changes. But the blame on the Clinton team is in the DNA of the project and could not be eradicated without pulling the entire show. A $40 million investment on the part of ABC is enough to stem even Bill Clinton’s influence.
An exclamation point on this event is the fact that Oliver Stone will endorse the project this week. Not known for his conservative leanings, he loves the project. Perhaps this and the fact that the production company that made Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” are endorsing it would underline just how far out or touch and scared the Clinton Admin is about the revelation of the facts as portrayed in this project. Is it just that Clinton is continuing to re-define his legacy? Or is it his fears for this election cycle and 2008? Or both?
Thanks for getting the word out. It’s made a significant difference in getting this broadcasted as it should be.