General Motors has announced they will no longer be funding PBS filmmaker Ken Burns, marking the end of a 22-year relationship between the auto giant and the award-winning documentary producer. Although certainly working in favor of The General, the termination of Burns’ sponsorship is not an immediate response to the current crisis within the auto industry, but rather the timely conclusion of a 10-year contract.
Grateful for GM’s generous contribution throughout the years, Burns’ rep praised GM for supporting the arts and enabling Burns to provide grade school teachers everywhere with enough curriculum-approved material to occupy the class while they slept off their hangovers in the faculty lounge. Gushed Burns’ rep, “Ken has had a wonderful relationship with GM…he is incredibly thankful for what they’ve done. As a partner, they have allowed him to tell many stories about American life that would either not have been told or told in a different way. It was an extraordinary contribution to public television and to film-making and of course greatly appreciated by Ken.”
Undoubtedly relieved by the opportunity to make a graceful exit, GM spokesperson Kelly Cusinato echoed the warm sentiments, explaining that GM was proud of their contribution to Ken’s work, but mitigating forces were preventing them from continuing the partnership. Not the first beneficiary to feel the pinch of GM’s wallet slapping shut, Burns joins a long list of big-name sponsors for whom GM has ceased funding within the past few months, including major prime-time events like Super Bowl XLIII and the 2009 Academy Awards.
Burns’ last GM-sponsored project, a six-part documentary series titled “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” will debut later this fall.
Source: Detroit News
Image Cred: AP Photo/Matthew Brow