Filmmaker’s Swimsuit Says A&E Networks Suppressed ‘Watergate’ Collection

One of many A&E executives named as a defendant, Michael Stiller — the vp of programming and growth on the Historical past Channel — had informed Mr. Ferguson that there can be rebroadcasts and required him to make barely shorter variations of the episodes for daytime slots, however these by no means occurred, in line with the lawsuit.

The corporate famous the documentary is out there on a number of companies, which embrace iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play, together with its personal video-on-demand platform, Historical past Vault.

Mr. Ferguson’s lawsuit argues that the corporate executives interfered together with his contract, and defamed him by telling trade executives he was tough to work with, thereby costing him work. Along with Mr. Lehrer and Mr. Stiller, the opposite named defendants embrace Robert Sharenow, the community’s president of programming, and Molly Thompson, its former head of documentary movies. Ms. Thompson declined to remark. Mr. Lehrer, Mr. Stiller and Mr. Sharenow didn’t reply to requests for remark.

The lawsuit cites a number of examples the place Mr. Ferguson stated he realized about conflicts between A&E executives and documentary filmmakers, together with a dispute regarding “Gretchen Carlson: Breaking the Silence,” a 2019 documentary on Lifetime about sexual harassment in working-class industries. The go well with says A&E executives questioned together with details about McDonald’s, an advertiser. The knowledge was in the end included after the producers fought for it, however the episode was solely aired as soon as, on a Saturday at 10 p.m., the lawsuit stated. A spokeswoman for Ms. Carlson declined to remark.

The lawsuit additionally says Mr. Ferguson realized a few dispute relating to a 2019 A&E documentary referred to as “Biography: The Trump Dynasty” that examines Mr. Trump’s life and household historical past. In accordance with the lawsuit, A&E executives wished the manufacturing firm behind the documentary, Left/Proper Productions, so as to add within the voice of a “Trump apologist” who might “justify” elements of Mr. Trump’s background, a request that the go well with says generated “important tensions” between the community executives and the manufacturing firm executives.

Left/Proper, which works with The New York Occasions on some documentary productions, didn’t reply to requests for remark. The Occasions didn’t have a job in any of the programming cited in Mr. Ferguson’s go well with.

Jack Begg contributed analysis.

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