ESPN postpones documentary on Kevin Johnson amid sexual assault allegations

ESPN announced yesterday that the airing of its “30 for 30” documentary about Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s efforts to keep the Kings in Sacramento, entitled “Down In The Valley”, has been postponed.

The decision to postpone the film comes after recent articles on Deadspin reporting on both the alleged sexual misconduct allegations against Johnson and alleged financial investigations

ESPN’s announcement was first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch. From SI:

“We are re-evaluating the content presentation of it and delaying the premiere,” said John Dahl, the vice president and executive producer of ESPN Films and Original Content. “When [director] Jason Hehir and we collectively agree that the film is ready and we are comfortable with it, then we will pick that air date. I think the most important thing here is to make sure it’s clear that we are not tone deaf and we’re aware of a renewed focus on certain issues.

Johnson played professional basketball for the Cavaliers and Suns before becoming the Mayor of Sacramento. The documentary, which was set to air to the public on October 20, was reportedly a highly glorifying account of Johnson’s work to prevent the Kings from moving to another city. 

While the film has been postpones, it doesn’t sound as though it’s been shelved permanently. The film’s director took to Twitter yesterday to clear the air:

 

 

We have reached out to Johnson for comment.

You can watch a teaser of the film here.

 

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