The Weinstein story was suppressed by Hollywood, using its legal and financial muscle to keep a lid on it - until now. But there are also power centres in the US government that can dictate to Hollywood: the Pentagon and the CIA.

The CIA rarely has any kind of public credit that suggests that they had any hand in shaping the narrative of that film. That lack of transparency I find incredibly problematic. Because it doesn't allow the viewer to be a smart critical viewer.

Tricia Jenkins, associate professor, Texas Christian University

Numerous popular films and television shows have elicited input from the CIA and/or the Pentagon over the years.

Argo, a 2012 historical drama about the CIA's involvement in rescuing American embassy employees from Tehran during the Iranian revolution is one example. Zero Dark Thirty, the story of the manhunt that led to the capture of Osama bin Laden is another.

The extent of the Pentagon's involvement is unknown but with their involvement comes inevitable scripting strings. Edits to storylines that may harm the country's reputation are a first-class misdemeanour in this instance. 

Where the CIA is concerned, involvement can be so secretive that undercover agents have been known to infiltrate major studios in order to monitor left-wing screenwriters and directors. 

"Hollywood is the only way the public learns about the Agency," says a CIA liaison officer. How much of what is said is truth and how much is storytelling, is anyone's guess. 

Contributors: 
Tricia Jenkins, associate professor, Texas Christian University
Matthew Alford, author, National Security Cinema
Nicholas Schou, author, Spooked

Source: Al Jazeera