ABC TV says it will need to cut its losses and abandon plans for a new art program starring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
A spokesperson for the Corporation, Tess Patten, told The Bug plans had been shelved for the proposed series after Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
“Our plans for the new weekly program were well advanced when the arrest happened, so that really threw us,” Ms Patten said.
“We had already flown a production crew to the embassy in London and had shot three episodes of a planned 12 episodes for the first series, but now it seems we’ll need to abandon the project unless Julian is set free soon.”
Ms Patten said the new program was designed to showcase Assange’s artistic talents by filming him painting a portrait of a prominent world leader in each episode.
“The show was meant to be similar to the very successful and popular Anh’s Brush With Fame,” the spokesperson said.
“But unlike Anh Do, in Julian’s case he wouldn’t actually meet anyone for a live sitting because he was holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy. So he would have been painting from memory or prompted by photos and the like.
“For the first three episodes we shot at the Ecuadorian Embassy he completed portraits of George W Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump (main picture).
“I know many viewers have been astounded at Anh Do’s technique of painting in oils using only large palette knives.
“Julian has an equally novel technique. He paints using only his own faeces and smears it on the canvas with his hands as he rolls past on his skateboard.
“It’s incredible to watch, although the end results are best described stylistically as ‘impressionist’,” Ms Patten said.