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Thursday, Apr 10, 2003

"Hitler" Exec Producer Fired Over Remarks

LOS ANGELES ( - The executive producer of a CBS miniseries about Adolf Hitler's rise to power has been fired after giving an interview in which he compared the current mood of Americans to that of the Germans who helped Hitler rise to power.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gernon was fired Sunday (April 6) from Alliance Atlantis, the production company making "Hitler: The Rise of Evil" for CBS. He had worked there 11 years and was head of the firm's long-form programming division.

Neither Gernon nor Alliance Atlantis is commenting on the matter.

"Hitler" has caused controversy ever since CBS announced its intentions last summer. In an interview with TV Guide about the four-hour film, scheduled for May, Gernon compares many Americans' acceptance of a war in Iraq to the fearful climate in post-World War I Germany, of which Hitler took advantage to become its ruler.

"It basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil rights and plunged the whole nation into war," Gernon said in the interview. "I can't think of a better time to examine this history than now."

Gernon's remarks reportedly didn't go over well at CBS, which has tried very hard to frame "Hitler" as a historical piece that in no way sensationalizes or offers excuses for Hitler's actions.

Alliance Atlantis has become one of the leading producers of TV movies in recent years. The company has made "The Matthew Shepard Story," "Joan of Arc," and "Me and My Shadows: Life with Judy Garland." Gernon was an executive producer of all three. He also directed "Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay," which aired on CBS earlier this season.

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