Charles Ferguson, the director of the planned CNN documentary on Hillary Clinton, has said the project will not be going ahead.
Ferguson said it was the stonewalling he and his colleagues had received from Clinton and her associates that had caused the cancellation.
Even before it went into production the documentary miniseries was causing waves. It was set to be aired on CNN and released in movie theaters in 2014. However, it was condemned by the Republican National Committee (RNC) as they believed it would be a puff piece on former secretaries of state.
In August 2013 the RNC voted to ban CNN and NBC, which was to make the series, from all Republican primary debates.
Despite the political headaches, the director Ferguson wrote in his Huffington Post blog, “When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film.
“Not Democrats, not Republicans -- and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration. Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away. I even sensed potential difficulty in licensing archival footage from CBN (Pat Robertson) and from Fox. After approaching well over a hundred people, only two persons who had ever dealt with Mrs. Clinton would agree to an on-camera interview, and I suspected that even they would back out.
“...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.”
He added that CNN has always supported the film. Ferguson wrote, “I flew to New York and had a two hour meeting with CNN's President Jeff Zucker and his senior staff. They were great. They asked me how I was holding up -- I said fine. They pledged their support, expressed dismay that things were so nasty, and told me to go forth and make my film. I did so.”
Although it is not immediately clear whether CNN will now be allowed to host debates, a spokesperson issued this statement about the announced end to the project.
They said, "Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving forward 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."
A spokesperson for the RNC said, “The pressure is now squarely on NBC to cancel its Hillary infomercial," the spokesperson said. "The timing, frequency, moderators and venues will all be part of a new debate model that will come in the next few months.”