Kathryn Bigelow Denies Bias In Forthcoming Bin Laden Film
The first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director responds to a Republican congressman's allegations
Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow is denying allegations that she received special treatment from the White House in connection with a film she is making about the special "black ops" hunt for Islamic terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. The unnamed film, which she is collaborating on with her Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal, is set for a release date of October 12, 2012, which, because it is only one month before the U.S. presidential election, is expected to boost President Barack Obama's re-election campaign by highlighting the most heroic moment of his first term.
Allegations of wrongdoing on behalf of Obama's administration are being launched primarily by Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who called on the Pentagon and the CIA to investigate whether or not Bigelow received classified information from the president, thereby culling favor that would be useful to Obama's campaign. “The Administration’s first duty in declassifying material is to provide full reporting to Congress and the American people, in an effort to build public trust through transparency of government,” King wrote in a letter to Defense Department and CIA heads. “In contrast, this alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history.”
Bigelow and Boal deny both that the White House has given them preferential treatment and that their film, which began as a Navy SEALs film involving the hunt for bin Laden before U.S. forces killed him in April, will provide a potentially game-changing bias. "Our upcoming film project about the decade long pursuit of bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama," they said in a joint statement. "This was an American triumph, both heroic and non-partisan, and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise."
Spokesmen for the White House are also denying that their interaction with Bigelow's team have been out of the ordinary. “When people, including you in this room, are working on articles, books, documentaries or movies that involve the president, ask to speak to administration officials, we do our best to accommodate them to make sure the facts are correct,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said at press briefing.