U.S. director Oliver Stone has spoken about his new TV series that he says will portray Hitler as a scapegoat, show how U.S. corporations helped the Nazis rise to power, and illustrate how Stalin led the fight against Germany during World War Two.
Oliver Stone, the 63-year-old Oscar-winning U.S. director, producer and screenwriter - and decorated Vietnam veteran - responsible for movies such as Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, is on the verge of more controversy after introducing TV critics meeting in California to a new 10-hour series set to air on Showtime that he has called Oliver Stone's Secret History of America.
As various media outlets, the Daily Mail and Telegraph included, report people and events covered by Mr Stone during his long career in the movie industry include former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Richard Nixon, ex-Cuban leader Fidel Castro and the assassination of another former U.S. President, John F. Kennedy.
And addressing the Television Critics Association as it met in Pasadena, California over the weekend Mr Stone, acknowledging that people such as U.S. radio host Rush Limbaugh are not going to like what he has to say, provided details of what the Huffington Post confirms is intended to be "an antidote to the way recent U.S. history has been presented in schools and the media".
Explaining what some may consider to be an inexcusable project, Mr Stone said:We can't judge people as only 'bad' or 'good'. [Hitler] is the product of a series of actions. It's cause and effect. People in America don't know the connection between World War I and World War II. Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it's been used cheaply. Stalin has a complete other story. Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any person
According to the Independent the man the Daily Mail claims may have inadvertently influenced a "series of gruesome murders" with his movie Natural Born Killers, added:I don't want to put out a conventional History Channel product where it's easy to like it. You cannot approach history unless you have empathy for the person you may hate. I've been able to walk in Stalin's shoes and Hitler's shoes to understand their point of view. We're going to educate our minds and liberalise them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions ... go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM? Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated
Mao Zedong, for over three decades the leader of the Communist Party in China and for many years the country's leader, Joseph McCarthy, the U.S. Senator and very vocal opponent of Communism during the 1950s, and U.S. President Harry Truman, the man who decided to use the atomic bomb against Japan at the end of World War Two, all feature in the series that Oliver Stone has made, partly it seems with the aim of highlighting mistakes Barack Obama is allegedly making with his foreign policy.
History professor Peter Kuznick worked as lead writer on the new series, for which a broadcast date does not appear to have been publicized, and the Independent suggests that he felt the need to clarify some of the comments made by Mr Stone. Professor Kuznick said:He's not saying we're going to come out with a more positive view of Hitler. But we're going to describe him as a historical phenomenon and not just somebody who appeared out of nowhere
With Mr Stone preparing to deal with what he describes as the "ignorant attacks" his series seems certain to attract the Daily Mail notes that on the Internet, almost at the same time the renowned director was presenting the trailer for his series in California, one person on a forum observed:Again, another 'blame America first' person. If he/they hate it, just leave it. We'll all have a party and help you pack. You won't even have a full body scan