Exactly HOW Accurate Must Historical Content Be These Days?
For History, there would seem to be accuracy issues here, especially in light of the channel's name. But that's not really the complete story.
From the point of view of some media buyers, it would seem the overall subject matter of "The Kennedys" is much closer to the network's original brand theme than modern-day big rigs slipping and sliding on roads in Alaska and the northwest regions of North America.
Surely we all know there many versions of historical events. The subjects of "The Kennedys" have had scores of conflicting stories told about them. History (the channel) has every right to dismiss this movie for a number of reasons. Still, TV viewers are savvy that Hollywood movies and content based on real lives can be played fast and loose. So why the controversy over this particular topic?
I haven't seen the movie. If there are legal disputes, if someone's credibility or station in life has been maligned and hurt, that person should have his or her day in court. Maybe legal documents are forthcoming.
"The Social Network," running in movie theaters recently, did have the real-life Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook shaking his head, noting, calmly, that there are many inaccuracies. That said, Zuckerberg didn't go beyond that. He shrugged it off, took it as a Hollywood version of his public self, and even allowed himself to be part of the reality/fictional fun bit of entertainment by showing up during a "Saturday Night Live" episode.
Whatever problems History had with the producers' ultimate product, it did accept how TV content can now be structured. Its statement concerning "The Kennedys" included this: "We recognize historical fiction is an important medium for storytelling..."
Once History said "no" to the show, ReelzChannel moved in, grabbing the rights for the movie. But now those executives say many advertisers are not buying the event -- they've sold only 20% of its inventory so far.
When History had the rights and was planning to air the miniseries, media buying executives said the network did strike a number deals with marketers but that there was no content problem or other concern.
"We were considering buying it, and they told us they had advertisers," one media buyer told TV Watch, adding there never was a concern over the show's content.
All this is backed up by what an A&E representative told The Hollywood Reporter, that in fact there were no advertiser issues concerning the show. But the rep added that "the content was not considered historically accurate enough for the network's rigorous standards."
In the old days racy language and sexy visuals would get you into trouble. Before that, interpretation and accuracy issues could give someone pause. Now it seems admittedly fictional accounts of historical figures can be a concern.