UPDATE:After this report was published, Al Jazeera contacted WND with additional information. The broadcaster said the segment would be airing on Friday, May 30. Included from Al Jazeera was a statement from Christian Tureaud, producer of “The Hornet’s Nest:” “Today I’ve spoken with Kate O’Brian, the president of Al Jazeera America, and was delighted to learn that there were always plans to air the interviews related to our movie, ‘The Hornet’s Nest.’ Scheduling issues with a key participant caused the postponement of the segment/story. It’s now set to air this Friday. I am grateful for the opportunity to have our film featured on the network and appreciate their demonstration of a commitment to cover all sides of issues-including the war in Afghanistan.”
A groundbreaking new movie that uniquely honors America’s troops in action and features video from both sides of the war in Afghanistan was apparently too hot to handle for the Al Jazeera America TV network.
As WND reported, “The Hornet’s Nest” is no Hollywood fairy tale but a film about a father-son journalist team embedded with U.S. troops in the middle of one of the most heated and desperate battles of the war in Afghanistan. No actors, no script, no special effects, “The Hornet’s Nest” is made from only real footage from the front lines – both video captured by the father and son and video captured from fallen Taliban fighters – revealing events as they really happened, from both sides of the battle.
Publicists for the film told WND that Al Jazeera America had conducted an interview with the filmmakers and a wounded U.S. veteran and planned a televised segment on “The Hornet’s Nest” on the network’s May 23 “America Tonight” program.
But when the time came to air the interview, the segment on “The Hornet’s Nest” was a no-show.
A publicist with Prodigy Public Relations reported receiving an email from an “America Tonight” associate producer.
“We unfortunately won’t be airing the segment tonight. I’ll let you know if we air it in the future,” the producer explained.
When pressed for information, the producer reportedly responded: “Apologies for the last-minute change. Unfortunately higher ups decided to bump it for other material.”
Al Jazeera America is owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, which, in turn, is funded by the House of Thani, the ruling family of Qatar. The network has been repeatedly accused of supporting supremacist Islamic agendas and, according to a Washington Times report, saw 22 members of its Egyptian staff resign in 2013, calling Al Jazeera a “propaganda channel” for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Christian Tureaud, co-director and producer of “The Hornet’s Nest,” told WND what makes his film unique and heart-wrenching.
“It’s not a movie to entertain, with actors and special effects and all these canned storylines,” Tureaud said. “We wanted to make an immersive, first-person experience. We want to take the audience by the shirt and have them be there, with the troops, and for an hour and a half have them experience it the way the soldiers experience it, as close as they can.
“The reaction we have gotten back from the soldiers and the Marines has been overwhelmingly positive, thanking us, saying, ‘Finally, somebody is telling the story without a political agenda,’” Tureaud told WND. “We wanted it to be apolitical. We wanted this to be a celebration of America and freedom and what that stands for. ‘Freedom ain’t free.’ You get to see the costs and the risks for freedom and the sacrifices these men and women are making to volunteer to go do this. We show the heroism, the bravery and the brotherhood, I feel in a way no one has ever been able to share it because it’s for real. There are no actors. There’s no script. This is it: real life, real heroes.”
Watch a trailer for “The Hornet’s Nest” below:
The movie opened May 9 in select cities but is expanding to a list of military bases and cities around the nation.
"We want this to be a bridge between the civilian community and the military," Tureaud told WND. "I had no one who served in the military in my immediate family. I did not understand the brotherhood, the bravery and the heroism that these men and women have. We want the public to realize what it takes, why we need to honor these men and women as they come home. They're going to need a little hand, they're going to need some opportunities for jobs and they're going to need housing and health care and so forth. You can't go through what they went through without having some challenges trying to reintegrate into American life.
"They are your brothers, they are your neighbors, the people in the store that have fought for your freedoms," Tureaud concluded, "and we want them to be honored the way they should be honored. People don't realize: They're the real heroes."