"This is god's hand. My hand."
So says Joe Kennedy in the highly anticipated miniseries 'The Kennedys,' an eight-part drama developed by Joel Surnow, the conservative co-creator of the hit show '24.' The all-star cast of 'The Kennedys' features Tom Wilkinson, Katie Holmes, Greg Kinnear, and Barry Pepper.
In the newly released second trailer for the program, below, Joe Kennedy is front and center as the nefarious family patriarch who is consumed by ambition not just for himself--but for his entire family. "It's not what you are," he tells his sons, "it's what people think you are. And with the right amount of money, you can make 'em think whatever you want...this country is ours for the taking."
Not surprisingly, this negative portrayal of the American political family garnered criticism from the left--and from the Kennedy family itself. Ted Sorenson, a former advisor to John F. Kennedy, called an early version of the script "malicious" and "vindictive."
As a result of the controversy, the show's backer, the History Channel, dropped the program which is now set to air on television April 3 at 8pm on the ReelzChannel.
Why did the History Channel drop the show? In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Surnow points out that the script was approved by at least two notable historians and experts on The Kennedys--so it wasn't an issue of historical accuracy. Instead, Surnow says, it came down to "discrimination and censorship":
If anyone has known my work for the last 25, 30 years, I’m not agenda-ized, I’m not even a political writer. I’m an agnostic filmmaker, I’m an agnostic writer. I go where the story is. It really felt like discrimination to me at the end of the day. I have no problem with the Kennedys. The Kennedys are absolutely in their right to want to protect their family as they see fit. It’s when the people who are inside our business, the ones making decisions who bend to that and cave to that, even when there is nothing valid about the objections being leveled against us, you have to start thinking about discrimination and censorship.
The people who canceled this had the opportunity to see all 8 episodes. This wasn’t about the [Kennedy family], these are the people on the corporate board above the History Channel. Again, don’t look at the Kennedys. The Kennedys have very little to do with this. They can’t cancel a miniseries. The only people who can cancel it are the people at the highest corporate levels.
Check out the second trailer for the show, which is very similar to the first trailer (bottom), but darker:
And here is the first trailer: