24 Nov 2015

CNN Is Being Pressured Not To Air A Doc About Campus Rape Featuring Bucs QB Jameis Winston

Why Is This Important?

Because campus rape is a huge problem that absolutely needs to be addressed.

Long Story Short

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston is threatening to sue CNN if it airs a documentary tonight that highlights rape on college campuses.

Long Story

Jameis Winston may be having a standout rookie campaign in the NFL, but the controversy that has surrounded him since his college days isn’t something that can be swept off the field so easily.

Back when Winston was at Florida State University, the Heisman Trophy winner was accused of rape by Erica Kinsman. Winston wasn’t charged in the investigation, but the police work has been slammed for going too easy on the football star. Since then, Kinsman and Winston have been back and forth in court; Kinsman filed a civil suit for $15,000 in damages and Winston countersued for defamation

Meanwhile, a documentary shown at The Sundance Film Festival earlier this year about rape on campus called The Hunting Ground features the Kinsman-Winston case. Winston has dismissed the movie, with his attorney saying it "manipulates, misstates or simply omits facts to present a false narrative." But as of this moment, CNN still plans to air it tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern. If the network ends up showing the documentary in houses across the country, several hours after Winston suits up against the Eagles to boot, Winston’s lawyer says he’ll sue.

"We are writing to formally caution CNN that the portions of the film 'The Hunting Ground' pertaining to Mr. Winston are false and defamatory to Mr. Winston," states a letter to CNN's Jeff Zucker, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter who had the scoop. "We urge CNN to reconsider the reckless decision to proceed with the broadcast of this deeply-flawed documentary in the face of the overwhelming evidence the film's producers consciously and intentionally failed to adhere to any accepted journalistic standards."

As for the filmmakers, Kirby Dick and Amy Zeiring, they stand by Kinsman, and their film. 

"When documentaries bring to light uncomfortable truths about powerful people and institutions, it's not unusual for them to wage aggressive campaigns to silence their critics," the filmmakers wrote in a statement seen on The Hollywood Reporter. "That's what we're seeing now. We invite viewers to watch the documentary and draw their own conclusions." 


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