Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Josh Fox was arrested Wednesday morning as he attempted to film a House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment committee hearing on “fracking”, according to Politico. Fox’s documentary, Gasland, explores the practice and the safety concerns surrounding it. Before the hearing even got underway, GOP lawmakers had Fox and his film crew detained. Fox protested that he was within his first amendment rights and that he was being “taken out.”
Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) filed a motion to allow the filmmaker and crew back into the hearing saying, “If you claim that rule does not allow them to film, or allows you the discretion to turn them away, I move the rules be suspended so the fella who wanted to film for HBO be allowed to film this hearing and that ABC be allowed to film this hearing and all God’s children be allowed to film this hearing until the room is too full for us to conduct our business.”
The Republican lawmakers claim that the issue is that Fox and his crew did not have formal Capitol Hill credentials. HuffPost reports that in previous instances, a person in Fox’s situation would have been directed to obtain a temporary pass, not arrested.
Fox, which is shooting footage to a followup for Gasland, has been charged with unlawful entry.