Sunday, November 21, 2010

Smart's Family Considering Media Offers of Book/Movie Deals

by John Edward Gill

Elizabeth Smart's family may get rich from selling her story to the media.

Chris Thomas, a spokesperson hired by the Smarts, said the family has been deluged with up to 100 book and television movie offers and they would be considered in the coming weeks, according to the Chicago Tribune, March 17, 2003.

"It's something that they're going to deal with soon," Thomas told the Associated Press on March 17, 2003. "They're trying to figure this all out --  it comes down to let someone else tell the story or tell it themselves."
USA, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Lifetime are all reportedly interested in obtaining rights to the story.

"It really covers the broad spectrum,"Thomas continued. " "I haven't looked at all of them, and I don't want to disclose specific names and  studios or other entities, but we've been contacted by some really big names."

"There are some people who may exploit the family, and that's unfortunate," he told The New York Times on March 17, 2003. Smart was taken from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2002, and found by police recently walking near Salt Lake City. Brian David Mitchell, a religious extremist who did repair work at the Smart house one day in November, 2001, is suspected  in the kidnapping, as is his wife, Wanda Barzee, according to the Associated Press, March 3, 2003.

There are some members of the press who disagree with the media coverage of Elizabeth Smart.
"I believe that truth sets us free," wrote Laura Berman, in the Detroit News, March 16, 2003. "But Elizabeth Smart and her family are entitled to discover the truth on their own. We have no right to feast on it."
In writing about all the media  coverage of Smart's return home, Berman felt," Hidden behind robes and a veil (when she was found by police), she (Elizabeth) lived undetected and unnoticed for months. Now that the veil is off, my worry is that our (the press) gloves are off, too."