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Fox has pulled the planned film based on the 2016 book “American Heiress” by Jeffrey Toobin that chronicles the 1974 kidnapping of heiress-actress Patricia Hearst. The move comes after Hearst, inspired by the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up demonstrations at the recent Golden Globe Awards, publicly decried the film and unauthorized biography.
“Twentieth Century Fox Film and its production partners have decided to cancel the studio’s planned project based on the book ‘American Heiress,’ ” the studio said Thursday in a statement.
Earlier that day, in a statement of her own issued through her daughter Lydia Hearst’s publicist, Patty Hearst noted that the book “cites one of my kidnappers as its main source, romanticizes my rape and torture and calls my abduction a ‘rollicking adventure.’ ”
“This project is attempting to rewrite history and directly flies in the face of the present #MeToo movement where so much progress is being made in regard to listening, and providing a voice, to those who have suffered abuse,” she said.
She said that while Toobin had approached her to work with him on “American Heiress” — saying it would be in her “best interest” because the book would “be seen as the last word on the subject” — she refused.
“It was offensive to me that a man would have the audacity to tell a woman that he would have the last word on her trauma,” she said.
Twentieth Century Fox is no stranger to swift action when it comes to its slated projects. Late last year, the studio replaced Bryan Singer with Dexter Fletcher as director of the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” after Singer’s “unexpected unavailability.”