Disney moves to block Michael Moore's Summer release flick

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by voicegy, May 6, 2004.

  1. voicegy macrumors 65816

    voicegy

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    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    #1
    On May 4th, "controversial" filmmaker Michael Moore was told that Disney, the studio that owns Miramax, has officially decided to prohibit Miramax from distributing Mr. Moore's new film, "Fahrenheit 9/11."

    The film links the Bush family with prominent Saudis, including the family of Osama bin Laden. It describes financial ties that go back three decades and explores the role of the government in evacuating relatives of Mr. bin Laden from the United States shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The film was financed by Miramax and was expected to be released this summer.

    Michael Eisner, Disney's chief executive, had expressed concern that the film might jeopardize tax breaks granted to Disney for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Jeb Bush is governor.

    New York Times Editorial:

    http://makeashorterlink.com/?A1C452C38

    Michael Moore's web site:

    http://www.michaelmoore.com/
     
  2. SlyHunter macrumors newbie

    SlyHunter

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    #2
    http://boortz.com/nuze/index.html

    Want the original source CNN look it up yourself. I posted a similar article yesterday in another thread about this very same subject. Disney told moore over a year ago they weren't going to distribute his product. It had nothing to do with politics, everything to do with their wholesome image. As a private company it is their right.

    Me I got other priorities to deal with right now.
     
  3. voicegy thread starter macrumors 65816

    voicegy

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    #3
    I don't post things lightly, and if there is evidence that Mr. Moore pulled off a publicity stunt, I'll kill this post or post the evidence I've uncovered.

    Sly, I did a CNN search for this, and only came up with a CNN related story saying basically the same thing as I originally posted:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/Movies/05/05/moore.disney/

    I did find, however, a New Zealand news report repeating what you discovered at boortz.com

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3565069&thesection=news&thesubsection=world

    I've written Mr. Moore's website asking for the truth behind these allegations. (of course, you have every right to snicker at what you may think will be the result - or non-result, of that inquiry) I'd like to see a direct reference from CNN regarding Mr. Moore’s admission - do you have a link?

    Like I said, I don't take such things lightly, and, if given source materials (other than what the New Zealand press and boortz.com claim) I would have no problem whatsoever in publicly expressing my deep disappointment in Mr. Moore if his statement regarding Disney turns out, in fact, to be a cheap publicity stunt.
     
  4. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #4
    Here is a transcript of an interview that CNN's Hala Gorani did with Michael Moore. Looks like they get right to the point with the first question:
    Gorani: What was your communication with Disney?

    Moore: Almost a year ago after we'd started making the film, the chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner, told my agent that he was upset that Miramax had made the film -- Disney owns Miramax -- and he will not distribute this film.

    Miramax said don't worry about that, keep making the film, we'll keep funding it. The Disney money kept flowing to us for the last year. We finished the film last week, and we take it to the Cannes film festival next week.

    On Monday of this week we got final word from Disney that they will not distribute the film. They told my agent they did not want to upset the Bush family, particularly Gov. Bush of Florida because Disney was up for a number of tax incentives, abatements ... whatever. The risk of losing this -- we're talking about tens of millions of dollars -- they didn't want to risk it over a little documentary.
    So if Moore was previously claiming that he didn't find out about this decision until May 4th (or whatever) it would appear that he's changed his tune. I don't know enough about the movie bidness to understand why Disney/Miramax would continue to fund a movie they didn't intend to distribute, but it does sound as though their position on that point was consistent.
     
  5. SlyHunter macrumors newbie

    SlyHunter

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    #5
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=518901
    Closest I have come up to it.
     
  6. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #6
    Is it true that they do not want to distribute it because they might lose federal and state tax breaks?

    I do not recall any law showing how party affiliation would affect tax status.

    What is this country, some sort of feudal kingdom?
     
  7. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #7
    Just how is knowing that Disney didn't want to distribute this film a year ago the same as Moore engaging in a "hoax." From what I understand, during that year negotiations took place to try to get Disney to move off its position and then on the 4th of May Moore learn of Disney's final decision. What possibly qualifies that as a hoax?
     
  8. socokid macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Here's a better, and more ACCURATE post

     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    I don't know what's going on here for a fact, but I do know that Moore is a master promoter. Disney just handed him a publicity bonanza, and he's going to milk it for every drop.
     
  10. bitfactory macrumors 6502

    bitfactory

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    #11
    "final decision"

    buwahahahaha! that's hilarious.

    he knew a year ago... end of story. he knows he'll find a distributor. he was looking for press, and he got it! duh.
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #12
    many times, in the business world, a manager told me to proceed on a project while, at the upper levels, a decision was being made on whether or not the project would even get implemented.

    but the funding and go-ahead were still present, at least until a "final" decision was made. note that there is often more than one "final" decision.
     
  12. Juventuz macrumors 6502a

    Juventuz

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    #13
    Actually it wasn't Eisner that said it, it was Moore's agent Avi Emanuel that made the quote.
     
  13. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #14
    He will find a distributor, however that does not relieve Disney from the responsibility of explaining why they see fit to try to censor Moore's film. Will Moore use this fight to get more publicity for his film? Undoubtedly. I don't see a problem with that. I do see a problem with the growing centralization of the decisions of what political views can get mass distribution in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals and corporations.

    Moore is a polemicist and he uses an "aw shucks" form of questioning of assumptions that goes all the way back to Socrates. The ability to ask the questions and challenge authority in the way Moore does is a vitally important component to our democratic process. I can't understand those who view this process and, even if they disagree with Moore, have no concern for this action.
     
  14. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    and i bet he's now got an idea for his next film, too :)
     
  15. voicegy thread starter macrumors 65816

    voicegy

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    #16
    SlyHunter, thank you for performing the courtesy of referring to each of these posts in the other. Perhaps I should have performed a more thorough search before posting, but now both of them, although with the similar topic, have lives of their own.

    I am reading all the source material carefully, and all opinions and facts. So far, it seems to me to be a matter of language (Mr. Moore knew that the film may have been in trouble a year ago, but only this week was he told of the "final" decision - so that may justify his position and NOT make him out to be a "liar" per se.)

    I'll continue to monitor the discussion(s). Appreciate your comments and relevant links and time spent.
     
  16. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #17
    Right. In the CNN interview that I posted earlier in this thread, Michael Moore said:
    "They [Disney] told my agent they did not want to upset the Bush family, particularly Gov. Bush of Florida because Disney was up for a number of tax incentives, abatements ... whatever."
    However, Michael Eisner denies that claim in this story from Reuters:
    "None of that was ever discussed," Eisner said. "It is totally not true."
    Here is a different story that quotes Florida's Governor Jeb Bush as well:
    "We don't give tax breaks, that I'm aware of, to Disney," the governor said. "I appreciate the fact that Disney creates thousands and thousands of jobs in our state."
     
  17. bitfactory macrumors 6502

    bitfactory

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    #18

    folks - read the facts.... Moore has never let them get in the way of a good argument. the tax break thing is ridiculous, if not a total outright lie. but liberals love that kind of thing. i'm surprised he didn't blame it on Haliburton (well, he hasn't YET).

    Disney doesn't want to get in the middle of a politically charged project since they cater to all kinds of people in their theme-parks. its not censorship, it's business... their business.
     
  18. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #19
    I am not using the word "hoax" or "stunt" to describe what Moore did. I am merely noting that when Michael Moore makes this claim (from his web site):
    "Yesterday I was told that Disney, the studio that owns Miramax, has officially decided to prohibit our producer, Miramax, from distributing my new film, 'Fahrenheit 9/11.'"
    it is, at best, misleading, since he fails to mention (as he later did in the CNN interview) that they'd been informed of that decision a year earlier.
    I don't doubt your word, but do have a link where someone (other than Moore, of course) says that such "negotiations" have been taking place?
     
  19. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #20
    No argument there. ;)
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    This entire situation is your basic tempest in a tea pot, and a fully contrived one at that. I think its amusing that so many people profess to care about who distributes Michael Moore's film. I sure don't.

    To me, it seems the people who are the most passionately interested about who said what and when are the people who most dislike Michael Moore and his work. They're entitled of course, but it seems, once again, that Moore has got his critics by the short and curlies -- and with every little tug, all of the booster rockets go off simultaneously. It's such a reliable affect. You can bet Moore, the old attention-hound, is loving every minute of it.

    So go ahead, make his day. Far be it for me to stop you.
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #22
    are you saying that state/local gov'ts giving tax breaks to businesses is a rare thing?
     
  22. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #23
    Definitely agree.

    Oh, please. :p

    He's a good filmmaker and a masterful self-promoter, which, as it turns out, is a good way to make a living. But let's not turn him into some kind of saint.
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #24
    Maybe not, but he's got the makings of a kind of folk hero. At least that's how I began to think of him during his TV Nation/Awful Truth days. Some of the stunts he pulled back then were priceless and unforgettable.
     
  24. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #25
    Hmmm... not quite sure where I called him a saint. If anything I'd call him a gadfly. A useful kind of character to have in a democracy. We need folks who point out when the emperor has no clothes. We also need folks who can point out in a thought provoking way our President's close ties to the Saudi royal family and the stupidity of some of his actions around 9/11. I don't particularly like it when people who own the megaphones in society try to shout down folks like Moore.
     

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