Foxy Knoxy Cashing In

Since Amanda Knox’s recent acquittal in Perugia, Italy, the Seattle native is likely to garner a small fortune for her story. Unlike Casey Anthony, who has become a public enemy, Knox has the media and the American people in the palm of her hand as the victim of a corrupt criminal justice system.  Her first interview is likely to secure anywhere from $1 to $5 million. Between book rights and film rights, Knox is looking at tens of millions of dollars to pay off her attorney’s fees, defamation judgment, and live comfortably for a very long time.

If Knox is going to ink a deal, she needs to do it quickly, while she is still at the forefront of media outlets. The only problem is that networks are changing their tune and declaring that they will no longer pay for interviews. Even if Knox does not get paid to speak out, her first interview will catapult her new “career” of making money off of her status as the victim of a corrupt system and America’s sweetheart.

Jason W. Maloni, Senior Vice President at Levick Strategic Communications, says Knox’s story has the key ingredients of a Hollywood script and she will have no problem selling it.  He also says that he would advise Knox to donate a portion of her proceeds to a legal defense fund for U.S. victims of criminal allegations overseas to maintain her innocent, kind, and gentle persona that has garnered her U.S. support.

Is it ethical for networks to pay for these types of stories? Do you think Knox should be able to cash in on her victim status? Didn’t she earn the right to cash in on her victim status?  Should she take money for these interviews or use them as publicity that will help sell books and movies?

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  1. I do not think it is ethical for networks to pay for these types of stories, yet like the rest of America I would watch the specials, movies, and interviews without fail. I think everyone wants to hear “the truth” from a the horses mouth, but sometimes that “truth” is so questionable that it seems unethical to reward that person for their possible bad acts. This Amanda Knox situation makes me think of the recent Casey Anthony scandal, but in the case of Anthony everyone was so against networks paying her even a dime for an interview. People were outraged at the thought of Anthony being paid to sell her story because most people believe she was responsible for the death of her daughter. The Amanda Knox situation is slightly different because there seems to be a feeling of sympathy for what she went through, considering this all took place overseas. I think a lot of Americans fear being locked away in a foreign country, and they feel bad for what Knox had to go through. Only time will tell how much networks are willing to pay and what the backlash from the American people will be.

  2. Nowadays, it is more unlikely for individuals to NOT cash in on their high-profile cases. However unfortunate this may be, it stems from the fact that Americans love sensationalized stories with that personal, relatable element to them. Here, Senior VP Maloni hit the nail on the head: “Knox’s story has the key ingredients of a Hollywood script.” Everyone following her story will help increase Knox’s publicity and her bank account because, like Gianna stated, people want to hear “the truth” at the most intimate level.

    I also find it interesting that Maloni advised Knox about donating proceeds to a legal defense fund for victims of overseas criminal allegations. While this money is certainly helpful to those victims in need, could this be another publicity stunt to make Knox the poster child of victims of criminal allegations in foreign forums? Will it really perpetuate her “overseas persona” or it is simply something that one could argue is required of her after what she has been through and the support she has garnered? Does it make her even more relatable to show compassion and generosity?

  3. Donating money to the legal defense fund for victims of overseas criminal allegations seems like a publicity stunt as a way to maintain her image. I don’t think it is something she necessary has to do, but the public may be less compassionate if she doesn’t donate some of her potential earnings based on all of the support she has garned domestically. It probably will make her more relatable to show compassion to those who find themselves in a similar situation and could make her more profitable. If people know that a portion of the proceeds of her book or movie will go to this fund, they may be more apt to buy it, which means more profit potential for Knox. Regardless of her intentions or the intentions of her team, it is a genuinely good thing to do no matter what.

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