Fox has canceled its plans for a biopic about kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, after Hearst publicly blasted the book it was to be based on, Jeffrey Toobin’s American Heiress: The Wild Saga Of The Kidnapping, Crimes And Trial Of Patty Hearst, for describing her infamous ordeal as a “rollicking adventure.”
Hearst was kidnapped in 1974 by a domestic terrorist group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army, who she says threatened and raped her in order to force her to participate in a series of criminal activities. Hearst was later convicted of bank robbery for actions she took during her time in captivity—with prosecutors suggesting she was an active participant—but President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence, and Bill Clinton issued her a full pardon in 2001.
Hearst has openly criticized both Fox and CNN—which is also producing a documentary based on Toobin’s book—for buying into their source material, which, she claims, “romanticizes my rape and torture and calls my abduction a ‘rollicking adventure.’” Hearst added that she was, “saddened and appalled that Fox 2000 agreed to finance and produce a movie based on Toobin’s book (with a similarly themed screenplay, also written by men) and that CNN has agreed to continue to perpetuate a one-sided dialogue romanticizing my torture and rape by hosting a podcast and docuseries through Toobin’s distorted lens. I refuse to give Jeffrey Toobin, 21st Century Fox, CNN or anyone else involved in these projects about my life the power to make me a victim again, or the power to provide a platform where victim blaming is OK.”
The film was set to be directed by Logan’s James Mangold. Hearst said she was inspired to make her statement by the #MeToo movement, as well as Oprah Winfrey’s recent speech of female empowerment at the Golden Globes.