So Warner Brothers has prohibited the release of a new interview included in the DVD release of 1987’s Hanoi Hilton, because the Hollywood studio wants to be careful to “not affect the election one way or the other.” Right. And Hollywood conservative Lionel Chetwynd, the interviewee, smacks back at Warner Brothers, saying, “Finding someone in Hollywood who says they don’t want to affect the election is like finding a virgin in a brothel.”
If Sen. John McCain has more to say publicly about his time in a North Vietnamese prison before next month’s election, it will not be with help from Warner Brothers.
The studio moved quietly over the last few weeks to block any promotional showing of an interview — tied to the release of the first DVD version of the 1987 film Hanoi Hilton — in which McCain spoke of his imprisonment in the Hoa Lo prison during the Vietnam War. The studio is concerned that any pre-election showing might embroil the project in electoral politics.
“It’s just us trying to be cautious and not affect the election one way or the other,” said Ronnee Sass, a spokeswoman for the studio’s home entertainment division.
The prohibition came amid a rising tide of politically edged entertainments, from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, a Lions Gate Films release that presented an unflattering portrait of President Bush in the last presidential election, to Tina Fey’s more recent barbed portrayals of Gov. Sarah Palin on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
The interview was recorded in May by the filmmaker and well-known Hollywood conservative Lionel Chetwynd for inclusion on the Hanoi Hilton DVD, which is set for release on Nov. 11.
“Finding someone in Hollywood who says they don’t want to affect the election is like finding a virgin in a brothel,” Chetwynd said Monday. He noted that studios were plugging movies with far more potential political impact, Oliver Stone’s Bush biography W. among them.