A scene from
the controversial British film 'Death of a President,' a fictional
documentary showing the assassination of President Bush.
Two major U.S. news outlets, CNN and National Public Radio, will not
air advertisements for a controversial movie depicting the assassination
of President George W. Bush, citing the film's content, network
spokeswomen said on Tuesday.
The movie, "Death of a President," caused a stir at the
Toronto Film Festival in September where it debuted, and two major U.S.
theater chains have declined to screen the movie when it debuts in the
United States on Friday.
"CNN has decided not to take the ad because of the extreme nature of
the movie's subject matter,"
the cable television network said in a statement.
A spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the statement. The network has
reported about the movie in recent months.
NPR will not run sponsor announcements to avoid any notion that it was
reporting about the movie because it took the sponsorships, an NPR
"The movie is fairly likely to generate significant controversy and
we'll cover it as a news story," said spokeswoman Andi Sporkin. "To take a
sponsorship spot would raise questions and cause confusion" among
"Death of a President" is told like a documentary that tracks the
political drama behind an investigation into Bush's murder in October
The film, which was directed by Britain's Gabriel Range, uses
digital technology to depict
Bush being gunned down, and its detractors have criticized the display of
murdering a sitting president.
Its distributors at Newmarket Films say the film ultimately tries to
send audiences an anti-violence message and Newmarket noted many major
newspapers such as The New York Times and Washington Post have run ads.
"'Death of a President' is the opposite of a call for violence,"
Newmarket co-founder Chris Ball said in a statement. "It's a powerfully
cautionary tale about the pernicious effects of violence."
Earlier this month, the U.S. No. 1 theater chain Regal Entertainment
Group and a smaller competitor, Cinemark USA, said they would not screen
About 100 local and art-house venues around the country will screen the
film at its debut.