According to the New York Post, the National Geographic Channel has received threats due to its plans to premiere the original scripted TV movie “SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden” on Sunday, November 4th. The New York Post reports that NatGeo has upped its security at the network’s Washington, D.C. headquarters after being “bombarded with phone calls and blog posts, saying that anyone airing a film like this is asking for trouble,” according to an anonymous source. “Enough threats have come in that the network is on higher security alert. They have a huge public building, with a museum and 1,600 people working.”
The film, which is being distributed by the Weinstein Company, recreates the mission to kill the al-Qaeda leader with a cast that includes Cam Gigandet, Anson Mount, Freddy Rodriquez, Xzibit, Kathleen Robertson, Eddie Kay Thomas and William Fichtner, with John Stockwell (“Blue Crush,” “Turistas”) directing. The November 4th release date, with a planned Netflix streaming premiere 24 hours later, was obviously carefully chosen with election day in mind, though the Post claims the network denies that the timing was intended to provide a boost for President Obama.
While not wanting to make light of any danger to the safety of anyone at NatGeo or to sound overly cynical, the breaking of this news development is also fortuitously timed to draw attention to the upcoming premiere, and the Weinsteins have always been masterful at working PR angles like this to their favor. If there’s anyone who can turn a terroristic threat into a press campaign touting the importance of free speech (and tune-in), it’s Harvey.