Doc ‘Endangered’ Headed to HBO and HBO Max June 28

The HBO Original documentary Endangered, produced and directed by Oscar-nominees Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing and executive produced by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ronan Farrow, debuts June 28 on HBO and the HBO Max streaming service.
 
An official selection of the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, the documentary chronicles a year in the life of four journalists living and working in democratic countries where freedom of the press has historically been considered a “given.” Yet, as online misinformation proliferates and world leaders brazenly denigrate the press, distrust of traditional media is on the rise, and journalists are increasingly facing situations more typically encountered in war zones or autocratic states.
 
Cutting back and forth between unfolding stories in Mexico City; São Paulo, Brazil; and the United States, Endangered introduces viewers to Sáshenka, Patrícia, Oliver and Carl, whose safety and professions are under threat as they cover political rallies, police brutality, BLM protests and the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, while confronting slander, hostility and violence from their own governments. As newsrooms across the world face economic hardships and layoffs, conventional checks and balances against corrupt institutions of power are weakening. Journalists are at the forefront of a dangerous culture war with the very right to free speech at the crux of it.
 
Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists, which is normally tasked with helping journalists in peril abroad, is for the first time inundated with pleas for help and safety training here in the United States.
 
Extra content featuring Ronan Farrow will be available on HBO digital platforms. These pieces will include Farrow speaking with journalists from around world about the challenges they face.
 
“Many of us living in democratic nations take freedom of the press for granted. In the course of making this film, though, we realized that in order to survive, this ‘right’ has to be fought for in perpetuity,” directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing said in a statement. “As governments and the public become increasingly hostile to ‘The Media,’ it was a privilege to observe a few of the unassuming beat reporters who hit the streets every day to bring us the facts.” 

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“When I started working with HBO, one of the first and most urgent ideas I talked about with the documentary team there was chronicling the minefield of misinformation, anti-press authoritarian politics, and faltering media business models that reporters around the world navigate to bring us the truth,” Farrow said in a statement. “In following a remarkable group of journalists into chaos and back, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady have brought that story to electric life and given us an important record of this moment in history.”
 
Featured interviews include reporters Patrícia Campos Mello (Folha de São Paulo) and Oliver Laughland (The Guardian); photojournalists Carl Juste (Miami Herald) and Sáshenka Gutiérrez (EFE News Agency); and former executive director, CPJ, Joel Simon.

 

Home Video Unwitting Player in Ronan Farrow Book ‘Catch and Kill’

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow’s book Catch and Kill, which hits bookstores Oct. 15, outlines alleged efforts by NBC News in 2015 to quash Farrow’s story on alleged sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein — the former Hollywood powerbroker and co-founder of The Weinstein Company.

Farrow’s reporting eventually found its way into The New Yorker in 2017, resulting in Weinstein’s firing from TWC and subsequent criminal charges filed against him in New York on behalf of several women who alleged sexual misconduct. Events that would spearhead the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein has denied any criminal wrongdoing.

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In Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, home video makes a cameo appearance as an indirect player in Weinstein’s cozy relationship with NBC’s corporate partner Universal Pictures.

According to the book, Weinstein contacted Ron Meyer, chairman of Universal Pictures, looking to secure a home video and digital distribution deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for TWC movies.

TWC had previously distributed packaged-media content through a partnership with Steve Bannon-led (yes, that Steve Bannon) Genius Products — a relationship that ended when Genius filed for involuntary bankruptcy in 2011.

Genius later filed a $130 million lawsuit against TWC alleging fraud. The case was resolved in 2018 with TWC agreeing to pay a $2.5 million settlement.

TWC titles were subsequently shepherded to retail by Starz Media’s Anchor Bay Home Entertainment after TWC acquired a 25% stake in Starz Media.

“I wanted to talk to you about Universal doing our home video and VOD — we’re talking to your guys and I think it’s always good to have a word from the top,” Weinstein wrote in an email to Meyer, as reported by The Wrap from an advanced copy of the book.

“I would love to make this work,” Meyer wrote back to Weinstein. “I look forward to us being in business together. As I told you, if there is anything but a yes please let me know.”

The potential deal, as many in Hollywood, never materialized.

Regardless, Weinstein’s home video request occurred the same year NBC News decided not to air Farrow’s news story on Weinstein.

Farrow contends NBC News senior executives caved to pressure from Weinstein — charges both NBC and Weinstein deny.