“No one, as far as we know, from the Clinton camp has seen this series,” Impeachment: American Crime Story executive producer Brad Simpson said today of the former First Couple who loom large in the FX limited series.
“Of course, I’m curious what they would think,” Simpson added at Friday’s virtual TCA panel of media savvy and sensitive ex-President Bill Clinton and almost POTUS Hillary Clinton. “I don’t imagine she will watch, no matter how emphatic we are to her,” the EP noted of the role played by Sopranos vet Eddie Falco to Clive Owen’s 42nd Commander-in-Chief in the show debuting on September 7.
Neither of the Clintons, nor the likes of Matt Drudge and Anne Coulter, were consulted on the Simpson, Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Falchuk EP’d 10-parter, like Monica Lewinsky was, as a producer herself. However, for Simpson on Friday, the legacy of the political and cultural turmoil of over 20 years ago has great resonance for America 2021.
“I really think this is an origin story for today,” Simpson said, linking the second and third impeachments proceedings against an American President in our history.
“This show is not about making a comparison, I think, between Trump and Clinton,” he stated “Though when you look at the show, I hope that one of the debates will be the hyper-partisanship, but also …is the acceptance of lying because they’re on your team, is that a gateway to where we are now?”
“The impeachment has more than one meaning, and Bill Clinton is not the only one impeached,” added fellow EP Jacobson. It should be noted that Murphy hosted big ticket fundraisers for Hilary Clinton’s White House campaign and others involved in the production were avowed supporters of the former Secretary of State against ex-Celebrity Apprentice host Trump in 2016.
Having optioned the material for Impeachment in 2015, Simpson admitted Friday that in the early days of developing this installment that “we all thought Hillary was going to be President, we are all living in a very different world now.”
A day after the limited series wrapped, Simpson and Jacobson were joined on today’s TCA panel by Impeachment writer Sarah Burgess, Murphy muse and EP Sarah Paulson, who plays Linda Tripp, producer Beanie Feldstein, who portrays Lewinsky and Annaleigh Ashford, who plays Paula Jones – all names that dominated the burgeoning media world in the Clinton Era.
Before today’s virtual panel started, FX dropped a new trailer for Impeachment, showing how the GOP and Ken Starr-led forces against Clinton “will not stop until they find a crime.” You can watch it below.
The 10-episode third installment in the award-winning Murphy EP’d franchise, Impeachment, set to debut on the Disney-owned cabler, is based on the 1999 book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President, by former New Yorker contributor and self sex scandalized author Jeffrey Toobin.
In his second rodeo with the ACS team, CNN pundit Toobin was an object of interest himself at today’s panel because of his incredibly inappropriate online masturbatory display back in October last year.
It was an association Simpson was quick to try to quell.
“Monica Lewinsky was our main consultant in terms of outside consultants on the show this season,” the EP said with brevity after acknowledging the “great relationship” ACS had with Toobin on 2016’s acclaimed The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which was based on another book by the lawyer. A long silence filled the virtual panel after EP Simpson’s answer.
Michael Uppendahl is directing and executive producing Impeachment, scribe Burgess also serves as an EP with Uppendahl, Simpson, Murphy, Jacobson, Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, and Paulson. Lewinsky, Feldstein, Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan are producing.
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