Sci Fi Head Apologizes for Hoax

Jul 23, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Bonnie Hammer, president of Sci Fi Channel and USA Networks, apologized to reporters for creating an elaborate hoax designed to deceive the press and public into believing there was a fight between the network and “Sixth Sense” director M. Night Shyamalan.

Sci Fi sent a bogus press release detailing the controversy and set up a fake in-house publicist to deceive reporters who called about the issue. Yet from the TCA stage, Ms. Hammer said, “We would never intentionally try to deceive any of you.”

“It’s been like our own private ‘Twilight Zone’ episode,” Ms. Hammer said. “If I had a time machine I would go back and try to change a couple things. I can assure you it will never happen again.”

After the panels, Ms. Hammer refused to say whose idea the hoax was or elaborate on whether she had anticipated negative reaction from the press.