CNN Slams RNC's Threat to Withhold Debates: The 'Ultimate Disservice to Voters'
CNN has responded to a threat from the Republican National Committee to boycott presidential primary debates in 2016 should the network press forward on plans for a movie about Hillary Clinton, calling any action by the RNC "premature" and contrary to the interests of voters.
"Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more," the network said in a statement Monday.
Earlier, RNC head Reince Priebus disclosed two letters, one to NBC and one to CNN, demanding plans be scrapped for a miniseries and a movie about Clinton, respectively. Both projects, Priebus said, amount to free commercials just ahead of Clinton's presumed run for president. If NBC and CNN don't comply with the RNC's demands, it will blackball them come time for Republican primary debates.
CNN's entire statement, emailed to The Hollywood Reporter, is below:
"CNN Films, a division of CNN Worldwide, commissioned a documentary about Hillary Clinton earlier this year. It is expected to premiere in 2014 with a theatrical run prior to airing on CNN. This documentary will be a non-fiction look at the life of a former First Lady and Secretary of State. Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more. Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters."