Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Haim Saban to CBS: Cancel Oliver Stone's Showtime Series

MrMidwest Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/8/05
Haim Saban to CBS: Cancel Oliver Stone's Showtime Series
By Sharon Waxman & Brent Lang
Published: July 27, 2010

A furious Haim Saban has mounted a campaign to get Showtime to cancel its planned airing of Oliver Stone’s 10-part series, "A Secret History of America," in the wake of anti-Jewish remarks by the outspoken director.

Stone's apology “is transparently fake,” Saban said in an interview with TheWrap. “He has been consistent in his anti-American and anti-Semitic remarks. I respect his First Amendment rights. I hope he respects mine.”

The billionaire and outspoken media mogul told TheWrap he had contacted CBS chief Leslie Moonves to urge him to pull the series.

He said that WME chairman Ari Emanuel had also called CBS privately to urge the series be pulled. update: WME had no comment.

Stone has previously said the 10-part "Secret History" series would put Hitler and Stalin "in context," and offer an alternative crash course to the "grossly inadequate history" taught by American schools and proffered by mass media.

CBS, Moonves and Emanuel did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Saban also said he had called CAA partner Bryan Lourd, Stone’s agent, to follow the example of Emanuel, who recently dropped Mel Gibson in the wake of the actor’s latest racist tirade.

Saban said he considers Stone to be "clearly an anti-Semite and an anti-American."

Oliver Stone Apologizes for Pulling a Mel

Controversial conspiracy theorist extraordinaire (and sometime director) Oliver Stone briefly waded into Mel Gibson territory this week when he claimed Jews controlled the media and that Hitler, in retrospect, maybe wasn't such a bad guy after all.

But he has one thing Mel doesn't—a public sense of remorse for his "clumsy" words. Well, either that or a really good publicist.

In the wake of Stone's ill-advised interview with the Sunday Times of London, which broke all manner of land-speed records to get disseminated across the interwebs, the Wall Street 2 director (good luck on that press tour, buddy) has offered up an apology:

"In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret," he said.

"Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry. The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity—and it was an atrocity."

The same could be said for his comments, though this isn't the first time he's spoken out against the vilification of, well, history's greatest villains.

As for his latest gaffe, however, Stone referred to the "Jewish domination of the media" and stated that Israel "f--ked up United States foreign policy for years."

Not content to stop there, Stone also proclaimed, "Hitler was a Frankenstein, but there was also a Dr. Frankenstein. German industrialists, the American and the British. He had a lot of support…Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people.

"There's a major lobby in the United States," Stone said. "They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington."

Well, they certainly stayed on top of this comment.

The American Jewish Committee was among the first to formally condemn Stone's comments yesterday.

"By invoking this grotesque, toxic stereotype, Oliver Stone has outed himself as an anti-Semite," the group said.

The Anti-Defamation League and the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants also spoke out against the director.

"His words conjure up some of the most stereotypical and conspiratorial notions of undue Jewish power and influence," ADL national director Abraham Foxman said.

Incidentally, Stone's apology didn't cover his comments about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, both of whom he also defended.

"Iran isn't necessarily the good guy," Stone said, calling American policy toward the nation "horrible."

"But we don't know the full story!" Stone later said Chavez was "a brave, blunt, earthy man."

So, if no one else, he'll at least be able to hang out with Sean Penn.
"The gods who nurse this universe think little of mortals' cares. They sit in crowds on exclusive clouds and laugh at our love affairs. I might have had a real romance if they'd given me a chance. I loved him, but he didn't love me. I wanted him, but he didn't want me. Then the gods had a spree and indulged in another whim. Now he loves me, but I don't love him." - Cole Porter
TheatreFan4 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/12/09
I'm so conflicted. I love Haim, but I also think he's going a tad overboard.
Broadway Star
Broadway Star | Joined: 2/8/07
I am sick and tired of PC running rampant, where people get fired for saying something controversial (or even downright offensive). Oliver Stone is a jerk, but he should not have his series cancelled. And John Voight should not be fired from whatever projects he is involved with, even though he is an even bigger jerk.