FX president John Landgraf defended the decision to air “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” dedicated to the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky impeachment drama, just months ahead of the 2020 election, In addition, he called the current media environment “toxic.”
Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, Landgraf shot down a tweeted comment that the decision to “to turn the homestretch of 2020 into a revisitation of the Clintons” might affect the outcome of the presidential race.
“Let me just say something about the current environment,” Landgraf said. “This certainty that says we can’t have conversations, we can’t make art, we can’t have nuance, that I won’t even wait to pronounce judgement, is toxic in the media environment. I believe very, very strongly in what we’re making. I’ve read it, I think it’s great.”
“I don’t believe it’s going to decide who’s the next president of the United States,” he continued. “That’s a little hysterical, from my standpoint, somebody saying that’s going to affect the next presidential election.”
The question followed the network’s announcement on Tuesday that the third season of “American Crime Story” would focus on the Monica Lewinsky scandal from Bill Clinton’s presidency and would air in September 2020. Sarah Burgess is set to write and executive produce, with Lewinsky herself serving as a producer.
Landgraf said the scheduling decision was an attempt to capitalize on when interest from viewers would be at its peak. “People are going to be very interested in this right around the presidential election and it’s going to be a great show,” he said.
“I’m going to support artists who want to make great art and they want to put it at the time and place when people are going to watch it,” he said. “I will stand up here as long as I’m here and I will stand for artists and I will stand for art and no one will shout us down.”