Twentieth Century Fox killed a planned movie about Patty Hearst’s 1974 kidnapping after criticism from the newspaper heiress.
Hearst, the granddaughter of media mogul William Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped in 1974 from her Berkeley apartment by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army.
Two months later, Hearst announced that she had joined the SLA when she was caught on tape participating in an armed bank robbery.
After 19 months on the run, Hearst was captured and served 22 months in prison. Her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter and she was eventually pardoned by President Bill Clinton.
She claimed that she had been brainwashed by the group and endured rape and torture.
The ordeal was set for adaptation into a James Mangold-directed film, starring Elle Fanning and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, before it was pulled.
“Twentieth Century Fox Film and its production partners have decided to cancel the studio’s planned project based on the book ‘American Heiress,’” a spokesperson for the studio said in a statement.
On Thursday, Hearst blasted the movie and several other projects in the works about the kidnapping, specifically calling out Jeffrey Toobin, the author of the unauthorized 2016 biography “American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst.”
Toobin’s book is the basis for the feature film and he also serves as an executive producer on the upcoming six-part CNN documentary, “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst,” which is slated to begin Feb. 11.
The kidnapping, crimes and trial of Patty Hearst
According to CNN, the documentary includes “unprecedented access” to Bill Harris, Hearst’s abductor, and Steven Weed, her then-fiancé.
“The series weaves through her upbringing, kidnapping, transformation into a terrorist, subsequent arrest and trial, and her transition back into American royalty,” the network said in a press release.
Toobin and “Reliable Sources” head Brian Stelter are also scheduled to co-host a weekly podcast, “Patty Has a Gun: The Life and Crimes of Patricia Hearst,” beginning on Jan. 26.
“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,” Hearst said in a statement released by her daughter Lydia Hearst’s spokesperson.
“I am further saddened and appalled that Fox 2000 agreed to finance and produce a movie based on Toobin’s book (with a similarly themed screenplay, also written by men) and that CNN has agreed to continue to perpetuate a one-sided dialogue romanticizing my torture and rape by hosting a podcast and docuseries through Toobin’s distorted lens.
“I refuse to give Jeffrey Toobin, 21st Century Fox, CNN or anyone else involved in these projects about my life the power to make me a victim again, or the power to provide a platform where victim blaming is OK.”
CNN did not immediately return a request for comment.
Source: Ny Daily News