Netflix recently announced that a new documentary will be released on September 30th. The documentary, titled simply “Amanda Knox,” was shown at Toronto International Film Festival. The two directors of the film have been doing the publicity circuit. In interviews, the two directors have been careful to not take sides, claiming they started from the final supreme court decision and worked backwards. In one article they claim their access to Knox was provided by an introduction through a “mutual friend;” though they declined to name this mutual friend.
Missing from this pre-release publicity is mention of producer Stephen Robert Morse, though it appears he had more of a role than Netflix cares to admit! Could it be that Netflix is trying to distance themselves from the extreme bias exhibited by “Amanda Knox” producer Stephen Robert Morse?
Netflix’s publicity for the documentary walks the line between innocence and guilt. Two trailers for the film appear to show both sides, asking viewers whether to “Believe her” or “suspect her.”
However, the newsite HeatStreet has uncovered a now-deleted blog post written by Morse in February, 2014, where Morse states that Knox is innocent. In his now-deleted post, Morse writes “For the record, it was Rudy Guede, the man who was convicted alongside Knox and Sollecito, who murdered Meredith, alone.”
In fact, Stephen Morse was in Perugia in 2011 covering the appeals hearings. Its unclear whether he traveled there specifically to research the case or was already there, as he has stated both things. What is clear is that Morse had an interest in the case in 2011 and has been “producing a documentary on Amanda Knox ” since then.
Yes- Stephen Morse was producing the Amanda Knox documentary while he was openly declaring Knox’s innocence.
A director for the film and Morse have both stated (in publicly available posts) that Morse’s involvement started in 2011. Director Blackhurst credits Morse with shared responsibility for the film.
The silent bombshell of Heat Street’s article this morning is a closing statement from Netflix. Heat Street contacted Netflix for comment on the bias of producer Stephen Morse. Netflix disclaimed that Morse had any “creative input” into the film. As reported by Heat Street:
A Netflix spokesman said: “Stephen Morse was given an honorary producer credit for his role in introducing Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn to a family friend of Amanda Knox. Rod and Brian are the co-directors of the documentary and Stephen Morse did not have any creative input into the film.” -Statement from Netflix, Published in Heatstreet, 23 Sept 2016
Yet in a publicly available post on Morse’s facebook page he says he has been working on the documentary since 2011:
In 2011, I was a young #journalist, traveling alone around #Europe and beyond, when in #Italy, I chanced upon a story that couldn’t be topped. Since then, I’ve been producing a #documentary on #AmandaKnox. -Stephen Morse, Aug 9, 2016
Co-Director Blackhurst also says that Stephen Morse shared in the responsibility for the film:
“Six years ago, Brian McGinn, Plus Pictures, Stephen Robert Morse and I started a filmmaking journey that I never expected to culminate with a premiere at one of the best film festivals in the world and an upcoming release on Netflix.” Rod Blackhurst, Twitter, 7 Sep 2016
Stephen Morse also talks about being a part of the “journey” and takes responsibility for the film by thanking people. In a publicly available post, Morse shared a Netflix post and wrote:
“The first public screening of #AmandaKnox is in #Toronto at TIFF tonight! It’s hard to believe that the journey to today started 5.5 years ago. Millions of thanks to the talented hearts and minds of: Rod Blackhurst Brian McGinn Plus Pictures Matthew Hamachek and so many others!” -Stephen Morse, 9 Sept 2016
Why would Netflix seek to distance the documentary from Stephen Morse? HeatStreet’s article this morning provides an answer- Morse’s bias and his openly expressed views of Amanda Knox’s innocence.
The relevant posts documenting Morse’s involvement with the film “Amanda Knox” since 2011 are below.