Friday, 26 February 2010


The American actor, social and political activist, Mike Farrell, famous for his role in the Television series M*A*S*H, has joined with many leading authors, academics, and fellow members of the acting profession in condemning the proposed script of a History Channel program on the late President Kennedy.

Theodore “Ted” Sorensen, Special Counsel and speechwriter for President Kennedy, and author of the best selling book, Kennedy - a biography, published in 1965, has also criticized the planned program.

"I was amazed to find reading those pages that every single conversation with the President in the Oval office or elsewhere in which I according to the script participated, never happened. There were no such conversations... A minimum amount of research could've avoided the remarkable number of obvious errors of that kind in this script."

Ted Sorensen.

In a statement posted today on the Huffington Post, Farrell wrote:

February 25, 2010 12:54 AM

My name is Mike Farrell. I'm an actor.

Many years ago, I was lucky enough to realize an ambition to portray John F. Kennedy, the first US President I was old enough to vote for. Made for PBS, the project was JFK, A One-Man Show, produced by David Susskind, written by David and Sidney Carroll and directed by Frank Perry.

This extraordinary team, understanding its responsibility to history, carefully researched every word that went into the show. As actors portraying historic figures, we can do no less.

To learn, as we near the 50th anniversary of JFK's presidency, that a project now in the works is not only grossly inaccurate but clearly intended to assassinate the character of a man who gave his life for this country fills me with contempt for the tone and depth of the political rancor that rages about us today.

For the History Channel, of all venues, to present a screed that is not only historically inaccurate but meant as a knife in the back of a beloved president, is disgraceful.

At a time when our country is so wrenched with turmoil and confusion, I believe members of our profession, people who have the capacity to speak to the hearts and minds of America through entertainment, have a responsibility to portray history both fairly and honestly. If writers and producers fail to do so, actors, asked to provide faces and voices to their efforts, must draw the line.


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