April 12, 2003
By SUZANNE C. RYAN
HOLLYWOOD - The producer of the CBS miniseries ''Hitler: The Rise of Evil'' has been fired for statements he made regarding the project and President Bush.
Ed Gernon, an executive vice president at Alliance Atlantis, which is behind the production scheduled for next month, was abruptly let go after more than a decade with the company.
CBS officials were said to be upset that Gernon appeared to equate Bush with Hitler by drawing parallels between Germany in the 1930s and contemporary America.
''It basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil rights and plunged the whole world into war. I can't think of a better time to examine this history than now,'' Gernon was quoted as saying in this week's TV Guide.
Associates, however, say the remarks were exaggerated by a New York Post item, which led CBS to act. The newspaper cited the comment as a sign of Hollywood's anti-Americanism and stated that Gernon had said Bush should be looked at ''through the prism of Germany's psychopath.''
The production, which stars Robert Carlyle (''The Full Monty'') in the title role, is scheduled to air May 18 and 20, during the next sweeps period.