Alex Gibney's investigative documentary into Scientology, Going Clear, won big at last night's Creative Arts Emmys.
The HBO documentary, which was temporarily pulled from broadcast in Ireland due to legal difficulties from the Church of Scientology, has gone on to become a critical and commercial hit. Yet, Going Clear almost didn't make it to our screens.
HBO famously hired well over 100 lawyers to combat the Church of Scientology's legal attacks before it entered production. Speaking at the Creative Arts Emmys, director Alex Gibney talked about some of the issues he faced when making the film. "Most of what I received were attempts to get into my head, myriad legal threats, none of which were made real … It wasn’t as bad for me as it was for some of the people who appeared in the film, who were subjected to harassment by private detectives, physical threats."
Gibney also spoke about how many media outlets have left Tom Cruise's involvement in the Church alone, saying "I’m fairly confident that many programs who wanted to have Tom Cruise on their shows were told you can have him on one condition: that you not ask him any questions about the Church of Scientology. But what’s up with Tom Cruise, why won’t he addresses these things? ...he received documented proof of these abuses."
As for a sequel to Going Clear, Gibney said there's plenty of material left that wasn't covered in the original. "There’s a lot more material already that I’ve received, more to come out - and so far the IRS has not revoked its [tax-exemption] protection so there’s a lot more to be done.”