Moore admits 'ban' was a publicity stunt

Discussion in 'Politics' started by mytwocents, May 8, 2004.

  1. I said it once, and I'll say it again....if I actually met Michael Moore, I'd kick him...and then kick him again.

    Moore accused of publicity stunt over Disney 'ban'
    By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
    07 May 2004

    Less than 24 hours after accusing the Walt Disney Company of pulling the plug on his latest documentary in a blatant attempt at political censorship, the rabble-rousing film-maker Michael Moore has admitted he knew a year ago that Disney had no intention of distributing it.

    The admission, during an interview with CNN, undermined Moore's claim that Disney was trying to sabotage the US release of Fahrenheit 911 just days before its world premiere at the Cannes film festival.

    Instead, it lent credence to a growing suspicion that Moore was manufacturing a controversy to help publicise the film, a full-bore attack on the Bush administration and its handling of national security since the attacks of 11 September 2001.

    In an indignant letter to his supporters, Moore said he had learnt only on Monday that Disney had put the kibosh on distributing the film, which has been financed by the semi-independent Disney subsidiary Miramax.

    But in the CNN interview he said: "Almost a year ago, after we'd started making the film, the chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner, told my agent he was upset Miramax had made the film and he will not distribute it."

    Nobody in Hollywood doubts Fahrenheit 911 will find a US distributor. His last documentary, Bowling for Columbine , made for $3m (£1.7m), pulled in $22m at the US box office.

    But Moore's publicity stunt, if that is what is, appears to be working. A front-page news piece in The New York Times was followed yesterday by an editorial denouncing Disney for censorship and denial of Moore's right to free expression.

    Moore told CNN that Disney had "signed a contract to distribute this [film]" but got cold feet. But Disney executives insists there was never any contract. And a source close to Miramax said that the only deal there was for financing, not for distribution.
  2. Maverick74


    Yo, MTC, I beat you to the punch. I already posted this article on the Michael Moore and Disney thread. LOL. But I appreciate your spirit. :D
  3. Damn! That's what I get for not reading ALL the posts....

    Oh well, A for Effort right?
  4. Maverick74


    You betcha. You get an A for effort.
  5. Yeah, super brain, but you didn't post that MTC would KICK Moore if she met him.

    Then kick him again. *ahem*

    So the two threads are different.

    Plus, I'd read (and post on) a thread by MTC... I don't even read yours anymore.
  6. Why THANK YOU TO.....but I like Mav too so let's all be friends....;-)
  7. Friday, May 7th, 2004
    When You Wish Upon A Star… by Michael Moore

    Dear Friends,

    Thank you for all the incredible letters of support as my film crew and I once again slog our way through the corporate media madhouse. Does it ever end? Are we ever going to get control of our "free press" again? Can you wish upon a star?

    The Disney spin machine has been working overtime dealing with this censorship debacle of theirs. I don't think they thought they would ever be outed. After all, they know that all of us are supposed to adhere to the unwritten Hollywood Code: Never tell the public how business is done here, never let them have a peek at the man behind the curtain.

    Disney has been hoping for nearly a year that they could keep this thing quiet. As I promised on Wednesday, here are the details behind my sordid adventure with the Magic Kingdom:

    In April of 2003, I signed a deal with Miramax, a division of the Walt Disney Co., to finance and distribute my next movie, Fahrenheit 9/11. (The original financier had backed out; I will tell that story at a later date.) In my contract it is stated that Miramax will distribute my film in the U.S. through Disney's distribution arm, Buena Vista Distribution. It also gives Miramax the rights to distribute and sell the movie around the world.

    A month later, after shooting started, Michael Eisner insisted on meeting with my agent, Ari Emanuel. Eisner was furious that Miramax signed this deal with me. According to Mr. Emanuel, Eisner said he would never let my film be distributed through Disney even though Mr. Eisner had not seen any footage or even read the outline of the film. Eisner told my agent that he did not want to anger Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida. The movie, he believed, would complicate an already complicated situation with current and future Disney projects in Florida, and that many millions of dollars of tax breaks and incentives were at stake.

    But Michael Eisner did not call Miramax and tell them to stop my film. Not only that, for the next year, SIX MILLION dollars of DISNEY money continued to flow into the production of making my movie. Miramax assured me that there were no distribution problems with my film.

    But then, a few weeks ago when Fahrenheit 9/11 was selected to be in the Cannes Film Festival, Disney sent a low-level production executive to New York to watch the film (to this day, Michael Eisner has not seen the film). This exec was enthusiastic throughout the viewing. He laughed, he cried and at the end he thanked us. "This film is explosive," he exclaimed, and we took that as a positive sign. But “explosive” for these guys is only a good word when it comes to blowing up things in movies. OUR kind of “explosive” is what they want to run from as fast as they can.

    Miramax did their best to convince Disney to go ahead as planned with our film. Disney contractually can only stop Miramax from releasing a film if it has received an NC-17 rating (ours will be rated PG-13 or R).

    According to yesterday's New York Times, the issue of whether to release Fahrenheit 9/11 was discussed at Disney's board meeting last week. It was decided that Disney should not distribute our movie.

    Earlier this week we got the final, official call: Disney will not put out Fahrenheit 9/11. When the story broke in the New York Times, Disney, instead of telling the truth, turned into Pinocchio.

    Here are my favorite nuggets that have come out of the mouths of their spinmeisters (roughly quoted):

    "Michael Moore has known for a year that we will not distribute this movie, so this is not news." Yes, that is what I thought, too, except Disney kept sending us all that money to make the movie. Miramax said there was no problem. I got the idea that everything was fine.

    "It is not in the best interests of our company to distribute a partisan political film that may offend some of our customers." Hmmm. Disney doesn't distribute work that has partisan politics? Disney distributes and syndicates the Sean Hannity radio show every day? I get to listen to Rush Limbaugh every day on Disney-owned WABC. I also seem to remember that Disney distributed a very partisan political movie during a Congressional election year, 1998—a film called The Big One… by, um… ME!

    "Fahrenheit 9/11 is not the Disney brand; we put out family oriented films." So true. That's why the #1 Disney film in theaters right now is a film called, KILL BILL, VOL. 2. This excellent Miramax film, along with other classics like Pulp Fiction, have all been distributed by Disney. That's why Miramax exists -- to provide an ALTERNATIVE to the usual Disney fare. And, unless they were NC-17, Disney has distributed them.

    "Mr. Moore is doing this as a publicity stunt." Michael Eisner reportedly said this the other day while he was at a publicity stunt cutting the ribbon for the new "Tower of Terror" ride (what a pleasant name considering what the country has gone through recently) at Disney's California Adventure Park. Let me tell you something: NO filmmaker wants to go through this kind of controversy. It does NOT sell tickets (I can cite many examples of movies who have had to change distributors at the last minute and all have failed). I made this movie so people could see it as soon as possible. This is a huge and unwanted distraction. I want people discussing the issues raised in my film, not some inside Hollywood fracas surrounding who is going to ship the prints to the theaters. Plus, I think it is fairly safe to say that Fahrenheit 9/11 has a good chance of doing just fine, considering that my last movie set a box office record and the subject matter (Bush, the War on Terror, the War in Iraq) is at the forefront of most people's minds.

    So what will happen to my movie? I still don't know. What I do know is that I will make sure all of you see it by hook or crook. We are Americans. There are a lot of screwed up things about us right now, but one thing that most of us have in common is that we don't like someone telling us we can't see something. We despise censors, and the worst censors are those who would dare to limit thoughts and ideas and silence dissent. THAT is un-American. If I have to travel across the country and show it in city parks (or, as one person offered yesterday, to show it on the side of his house for the neighborhood to see), that is what I will do.

    More to come, stay tuned.

    Michael Moore
  8. Yeah, well, I'm not into threesomes so... good luck with "Mav."

    *rereads your post*

    Wait a minute... are you saying you like me? :):confused::p:D:confused::cool::)
  9. That letter sounds like it was written by a high school freshman or a nun who has just read Karl Marx for the first time.

    Moore is the worst kind of second hander: A man who takes the money from his sponsers and then cries about it. Here is the truth about the matter. This is not censorship. It is property rights. It is Disneys money and they have the right to do whatever they want.

    For example, say I wanted to buy advertisement for the book "FDRs Follies" which documents that the economic policies of Roosevelt made the Depression much worse instead of better, and The Nation and Mother Jones declines me because it goes against their religious beliefs to not present the New Deal as anything but a breakthrough. I cannot call that censorship. It is their property and their right to control it. Just as when the left wing organization was crying censorship for not being allowed to air their political commercial during the Super Bowl. Again, that is not censorship.

    People like Moore are always twisting words to create a story that is not there. For instance, a few weeks ago Terry Gross on NPR interviewed a reporter from the Middle East. After Israel killed the leader of the murderous Hamas organization, she called it "the assination of a spritual leader." And on and on.

    But all that aside, the bottom line is that Moore is a third tier film maker; a hack with a camera. If you want to see real good documentary making, just watch Errol Morris. Watching his films beside Moores is like seeing a sophmore college film project and then viewing Citizen Kane.

    Besides, there is nothing I enjoy more than listening to a 350 pound man cry about "corporate greed". I think I will calculate how many families of starving Somolians could live off how much he over eats each year.


  10. Maverick74




    May 18, 2004 -- CANNES, France - President Bush need not lose any sleep over Michael Moore's much-hyped "Fahrenheit 9/11," which turns out to be a wet firecracker.
    Moore's virulent feature-length attack on Bush, which premiered yesterday to a 20-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, falls far short of delivering on the filmmaker's extravagant promises of election-swinging revelations.

    "You will see things you haven't seen before and learn things you have not learned before," he vowed on Sunday.

    Well, maybe if you spent the last three years hiding in a cave in Afghanistan.

    Sure, there's some media-grabbing footage - apparently shot by one of the camera crews Moore claims to have smuggled in with embedded troops - of American soldiers laughing as they place hoods over Iraqi prisoners, and one GI touching a detainee's genitals through a blanket.

    But that footage actually conflicts with one of Moore's main arguments - that GIs have been victimized by being forced to participate in what he considers to be the unnecessary and immoral invasion of Iraq.

    Moore's big stop-the-presses revelation is that the name of an old pal of the president who works for the bin Laden family was excised from 1972 National Guard records released by the White House in 2002. Yawn.

    Mostly Moore dusts off a litany of old accusations against the president - whom he portrays as both a buffoon and a world-class conspirator - and lands few solid blows as he takes on targets like the Patriot Act and supposed war profiteering by the politically connected Halliburton Corp.

    The sheer scope of the material he's trying to cover in a two-hour documentary - the Sept. 11 attacks rate maybe five minutes - leads to incredibly superficial and misleading treatment at times.

    As a critic who awarded Moore's Oscar-winning "Bowling for Columbine" four stars, I was particularly disappointed with "Fahrenheit 9/11."

    In "Columbine," Moore had something new to say about the gun-control debate and did so in a refreshingly entertaining manner.

    "9/11" does not lend itself to such a glib approach, and while Moore may get laughs by presenting Bush and his staff in a brief "Bonanza" spoof titled "Afghanistan," the humor often seems much more forced here.

    By far the best sequence features Lila Lipscomb, a woman from Moore's hometown of Flint, Mich., who lost her Marine son in Vietnam.

    But when she tries to go to the White House to express her antiwar feelings, Moore ends up delivering a pallid echo of the high point of "Columbine," where victims of that high school massacre descend on Kmart headquarters to demand that the chain stop selling ammunition.

    Far from the political hot potato Moore has been tub-thumping to secure a rich U.S. distribution deal and the July opening he lusts after - after Miramax was forced to sell it at the insistence of its corporate parent, Disney - "Fahrenheit 9/11" is more like a lot of hot air.
    #10     May 18, 2004