Not Ready for Prime Time?

A sampling of controversial scenes from drafts of The Kennedys.

Image of Barry Pepper, Tom Wilkinson, Katie Holmes, and Greg Kinnear portraying the Kennedys, taken from a promotional poster for The Kennedys miniseries. Courtesy of Kevin Lynch.

Image of Barry Pepper, Tom Wilkinson, Katie Holmes, and Greg Kinnear portraying the Kennedys, taken from a promotional poster for The Kennedys miniseries. Courtesy of Kevin Lynch.

A sampling of controversial scenes from drafts of The Kennedys (some of these were eventually cut).


> In the presence of sons JFK and RFK, Joe Sr. fondles his secretary’s breasts while dictating a letter to FDR recommending concessions to Hitler.

> Joe Sr. tells Jackie that he knows her grandfather was a Jew who changed his name from Levy to Lee in order to “get a job on Wall Street.”

> Joe Sr. is adamant that RFK become JFK’s attorney general. The brothers dislike the arrangement but don’t dare oppose Father.

> To help JFK win the presidency, Joe Sr. buys off mobster Sam Giancana, telling him, “If you get onboard — my hand to God — all you boys’ll see the best times you’ve had since Prohibition.”

> A Secret Service agent with an urgent national security message is unable to get JFK’s attention because he’s busy having sex with a young woman in a pool.

> JFK confides to Bobby, “If I don’t have some strange ass every couple of days, I get migraines.”

> JFK and Jackie regularly pop pills — prescribed and otherwise — for their many ailments.

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