After recruiting a wealth of talent, spending millions of dollars and revising the shooting script deemed not completely truthful, A&E has decided not to air their completed eight part miniseries on The Kennedys. The production has been beset by controversy almost from the outset after the New York Times ran an expose accusing the production of bias. In response, numerous experts were brought in to make sure it was historically accurate, but apparently, the final product didn’t live up to someone’s standards.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a representative for A&E’s sister network History that was planning to broadcast the miniseries said, “While the film is produced and acted with the highest quality, after viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand.” That’s not good news for History president Nancy Dubuc, nor for lead actors Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes, Barry Pepper and Tom Wilkineson, nor for American audiences interested in seeing the final product. The network has announced it will air The Kennedys internationally and in Canada, making one wonder what exactly the real problem was.

Yes, it is certainly possible History has lowered standards for historical accuracy outside the United States; then again, it’s also possible the miniseries was more offensive than inaccurate. You may remember almost a decade ago CBS similarly scrapped its miniseries on The Reagans because of how it portrayed the former President’s stance on AIDS. Likewise, the Kennedys are a beloved first family for much of the nation. Father Joe was both a supposed crook and longtime ambassador to the United Kingdom. Sons John and Teddy were warriors fighting for the middle classes, as well as noted philanderers. The complexities that marked the Kennedys seem rife for either a complicated and balanced miniseries or a one-sided viewpoint highlighting the family’s achievements or condemning their missteps. History may have avoided a lot of controversy walking away, but that doesn’t make their decision any less sad for curious viewers excited about seeing The Kennedys.

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