The Hollywood Reporter published an exclusive today on a scene cut from the latest Tom Cruise movie. In the scene, Bill Clinton would have been depicted getting a lap dance. American Made, which opens today, is about a pilot (played by Cruise) who becomes a drug smuggler for the CIA. According to THR, the story is based on a conspiracy theory about drugs being flown into Mena, Arkansas in the days when Bill Clinton was Governor. Apparently, Clinton appeared in a draft of the script but the producers decided to cut the scene:
Those hoping for some Clinton dirt will ultimately be disappointed. The filmmakers decided to cut a scene showing a young Clinton getting a lap dance at an Arkansas strip club. In the script, it’s the moment when the movie’s real-life protagonist Barry Seal, played by Tom Cruise, hatches an idea to enlist Clinton, who was then governor of Arkansas, in the CIA-backed scheme.
The scene was nixed from the Gary Spinelli-penned script because the producer and financier, Cross Creek Pictures, wanted to keep the film from being political, according to sources.
Producers also cut a scene featuring then-Vice President George H.W. Bush:
According to the conspiracy theorists, Bush was knee-deep in the plot dating back to his days as head of the CIA. Though he appears in the shooting script, he does not appear in the finished film…
If this is all based on a conspiracy theory, why not go all out? In fact, Bill Clinton getting a lap dance would probably be the one moment in the film no one would doubt is based on real life.
This wouldn’t have been the first time Bill Clinton was negatively depicted in a film. The ABC mini-series “The Path to 9/11” was aired once and then buried by the network after criticism by people connected to the Clinton administration. Last year the filmmaker said it was the only “banned film” in America:
“The amazing thing was the Clintons were able to put pressure on Disney/ABC basically to bury their own movie that they spent $40 million on, The Path to 9/11, which did air once, by the way, over two nights, and was number one in the ratings with 20 million viewers,” Nowrasteh told KSFO The Morning Show’s Brian Sussman.
The filmmaker said that in many ways, the Clintons are “more effective” at censorship “than the ayatollahs in Iran,” who banned his 2008 film, The Stoning of Soraya M., for its critical examination of the Iranian government. While Nowrasteh was able to smuggle DVD copies of Soraya M. into Iran, the filmmaker said “the Clintons made sure that no one can see The Path to 9/11.”…
Perhaps the producers were hesitant to get into a fight with the Clintons.