You might not know who Mark Halperin is but he is the author of “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime”, with John Heilemann. It was that book that became HBO FILMS: GAME CHANGE directed by Jay Roach with Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin. It was a success and HBO had tapped Halperin to take the look at the U. S. political system further with DOUBLE DOWN about the 2012 election. That project didn’t materialize, but HBO chose Halperin to address the controversial 2016 election after it ran its course. It is that project that is now dead.
The reasons for its demise is not creative difference, unsurmountable financial woes or grumblings from the current administration but because of the hot topic around Hollywood right now – inappropriate behavior in the form of sexual harassment. Mr. Halperin has now joined the ranks of Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and Kevin Spacey as a sexual offender. Allegations stem from his tenure at ABC News a few years ago.
As is the nature of not condoning such behavior or treating things as ‘business as usual’ in light of the allegations HBO has dropped its working relationship with Helperin. Those projects with HBO are terminated. HBO stated the following –
“HBO is no longer proceeding with the project tied to the untitled book co-authored by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the 2016 Presidential election. HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.”
The politically themed movies HBO has presented, RECOUNT and GAME CHANGE, were well-received topics though they were skewed to the liberal side of the equation. The cast of characters for political pundit Halperin’s GAME CHANGE could not be made up and those on the campaign trail for the 2016 race were just as large or more so. Those characters belong in some sort of movie, perhaps once again directed by Roach, but no matter how polarizing or controversial that movie could have been you cannot reward people like Halperin with prestige, accolades and business. It appears that sometimes admonishment from the workplace is the only penalty these types of people get. But, there are those that say that if we call out everyone who ever did any criminal or bad in their life than next to no one would be working today. HBO made its ruling not to deal with that type of person. What do you think?