There’s a new film and television docuseries in the works about the 1974 kidnapping of American heiress Patty Hearst by a domestic terrorist group – and the family is reportedly infuriated.
TMZ reported Wednesday Hearst family sources told the celebrity gossip site they are outraging over the upcoming projects, which are based on the book “American Heiress” by Jeffrey Toobin.
Deadline.com also revealed Toobin is the executive producer of the CNN docuseries "The Radical Story of Patty Hearst."
The film and TV show are allegedly painting the now-63-year-old as someone who not only embraced her captors, the Symbionese Liberation Army [SLA], but also tried to manipulate the system during her trial after taking part in a robbery on behalf of them at age 19.
One of the sources claimed the projects minimize Hearst’s rape and horrifying 19 months of captivity.
“When you strip it away in the midst of all this #TimesUp, #MeToo and ‘listen to the victim’ they are essentially saying she loved it,” said the source. “She was asking for it. They are making a victim who suffered, and still suffers, culpable for her trauma while showing a blatant disregard for the victim and the human aspect of the story. This is another example of men trivializing women.”
This isn't the first time in recent months Hearst has been the subject of a documentary.
Hearst, the granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, was the focus of a November 2017 documentary on the Smithsonian Channel, which was a part of their series “The Lost Tapes.”
The episode utilized Hearst’s own recordings, first-hand audio tapes of the kidnappers and rediscovered news footage to shed more light on what happened during those 19 months.
Producer Tom Jennings told Fox News the Hearst story continues to perplex those who’ve wondered over the years whether she was a victim of Stockholm Syndrome or merely a criminal.
“The question is, was this a Stockholm Syndrome type of thing where she wound up having empathy with the people who are actually holding you hostage?” said Jennings. “There’s probably some of that involved. I don’t get the sense from studying this… that she was playing along… To me, she sounded very genuine in her hatred of the government… I think [the SLA] had turned her.”
Jennings claimed Hearst was kept inside a broom closet for up to 22 hours a day. He wasn’t convinced Hearst joined the SLA willingly.
“She was plucked out basically from a life of luxury… having been raised by the Hearst family, to being tied up in a broom closet for days on end, being indoctrinated to this point of view that, everything having to do with how society was held together was wrong,” said Jennings. “Who among us is to say how we would react under those kinds of circumstances?”
According to the FBI, the last two members of the SLA were arrested in 1999 and 2002.
Hearst now enjoys a quiet life while actively participating in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show with her award-winning pooch.