Filmmaker Charles Ferguson has canceled his plans for a controversial documentary about Hillary Rodham Clinton that had been planned to air on CNN in 2014. Just after news of his decision broke, NBC announced that it has quashed plans for a proposed Clinton miniseries it had said was in development.
Ferguson announced his intentions in a blog post written for the Huffington Post on Monday. In it, he explained that he ran into a near-total stonewalling by Clinton's people, as well as reluctance to participate from anyone who had ever covered her or been connected to her, including journalists.
Ferguson wrote, "After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn't make a film of which I would be proud. And so I'm cancelling. (Not because of any pressure from CNN -- quite the contrary.)"
A statement from CNN Films on Monday backed up Ferguson, saying, "Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving foward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton. Charles is an Academy Award winning director who CNN Films was excited to be working with, but we understand and respect his decision."
Shortly after CNN's announcement, NBC released a statement of its own, saying: "After reviewing and prioritizing our slate of movie/mini-series development, we’ve decided that we will no longer continue developing the Hillary Clinton mini-series."
Just a few months ago, we were talking about the possibility of not one, but two Hillary Clinton projects to air on TV in 2014. Now there are no planned Hilary Clinton films for 2014.
Both projects ran into trouble this summer when the Republican National Committee voted to ban CNN and NBC from covering the Republican primary debates in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.
The plans for the proposed films caused headaches for NBC in particular, with NBC News reporter Chuck Todd referring to the Clinton project as a "total nightmare" for NBC News.
Following Ferguson's decision, the RNC dropped its boycott of CNN, according to the Wall Street Journal. Now that NBC has officially canceled its project, it's presumed that the RNC will drop its block of that network as well.