Report: George Clooney producing documentary series about Ohio State abuse scandal
Hollywood star George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures are reportedly planning to produce a documentary series on an abuse scandal that occurred within Ohio State University’s athletic department and stretched across decades. The Hollywood Reporter reported the story.
Clooney and Smokehouse Pictures will work with Sports Illustrated Studios and 101 Studios for the docuseries. The project is based on a Sports Illustrated story by Jon Wertheim that ran in 2020 about alleged abuse allegations against sports doctor Richard Strauss, and Ohio State’s lack of response.
Strauss died in 2005.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
“This article uncovers the most widespread sexual abuse scandal in the history of American higher education. It is a story about power, abuse, enabling and the hierarchy of college sports that had been concealed for far too long,” said Wertheim, who will be an executive producer of the series. “Because these courageous men made the decision to remain silent no longer, we can finally begin to hold the abuser, and those who were complicit in their silence, accountable for their actions — and inactions. With the help of 101 Studios, [SI owner] Authentic Brands Group and Smokehouse Pictures, their voices and stories — harrowing as they are — will be amplified.”
Said Clooney and Heslov in a statement, “We’re very pleased to partner with 101 Studios and Sports Illustrated in bringing this devastating and tragic story to light.”
Ohio State released Strauss from his position as a team doctor within the athletic department and left the university in 1998.
In April 2018, Ohio State announced an investigation into the allegations against Strauss and published the findings of the extensive investigation.