Is Disney really THIS stupid?

Keyser Soze

Anti-Social Socialist
May 28, 2002
at work....

After loosing out big time on distributing the biggest grossing indie film of all time (The Passion of the Christ), now they are backing out of this... which could potentially be even bigger...


May 5, 2004

Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush

ASHINGTON, May 4 — The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Bush, executives at both Disney and Miramax said Tuesday.

The film, "Fahrenheit 911," links Mr. Bush and prominent Saudis — including the family of Osama bin Laden — and criticizes Mr. Bush's actions before and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Disney, which bought Miramax more than a decade ago, has a contractual agreement with the Miramax principals, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, allowing it to prevent the company from distributing films under certain circumstances, like an excessive budget or an NC-17 rating.

Executives at Miramax, who became principal investors in Mr. Moore's project last spring, do not believe that this is one of those cases, people involved in the production of the film said. If a compromise is not reached, these people said, the matter could go to mediation, though neither side is said to want to travel that route.

In a statement, Matthew Hiltzik, a spokesman for Miramax, said: "We're discussing the issue with Disney. We're looking at all of our options and look forward to resolving this amicably."

But Disney executives indicated that they would not budge from their position forbidding Miramax to be the distributor of the film in North America. Overseas rights have been sold to a number of companies, executives said.

"We advised both the agent and Miramax in May of 2003 that the film would not be distributed by Miramax," said Zenia Mucha, a company spokeswoman, referring to Mr. Moore's agent. "That decision stands."

Disney came under heavy criticism from conservatives last May after the disclosure that Miramax had agreed to finance the film when Icon Productions, Mel Gibson's company, backed out.

Mr. Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, said Michael D. Eisner, Disney's chief executive, asked him last spring to pull out of the deal with Miramax. Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Eisner expressed particular concern that it would endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush's brother, Jeb, is governor.

"Michael Eisner asked me not to sell this movie to Harvey Weinstein; that doesn't mean I listened to him," Mr. Emanuel said. "He definitely indicated there were tax incentives he was getting for the Disney corporation and that's why he didn't want me to sell it to Miramax. He didn't want a Disney company involved."

Disney executives deny that accusation, though they said their displeasure over the deal was made clear to Miramax and Mr. Emanuel.

A senior Disney executive elaborated that the company had the right to quash Miramax's distribution of films if it deemed their distribution to be against the interests of the company. The executive said Mr. Moore's film is deemed to be against Disney's interests not because of the company's business dealings with the government but because Disney caters to families of all political stripes and believes Mr. Moore's film, which does not have a release date, could alienate many.

"It's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle," this executive said.

Miramax is free to seek another distributor in North America, but such a deal would force it to share profits and be a blow to Harvey Weinstein, a big donor to Democrats.

Mr. Moore, who will present the film at the Cannes film festival this month, criticized Disney's decision in an interview on Tuesday, saying, "At some point the question has to be asked, `Should this be happening in a free and open society where the monied interests essentially call the shots regarding the information that the public is allowed to see?' "

Mr. Moore's films, like "Roger and Me" and "Bowling for Columbine," are often a political lightning rod, as Mr. Moore sets out to skewer what he says are the misguided priorities of conservatives and big business. They have also often performed well at the box office. His most recent movie, "Bowling for Columbine," took in about $22 million in North America for United Artists. His books, like "Stupid White Men," a jeremiad against the Bush administration that has sold more than a million copies, have also been lucrative.

Mr. Moore does not disagree that "Fahrenheit 911" is highly charged, but he took issue with the description of it as partisan. "If this is partisan in any way it is partisan on the side of the poor and working people in this country who provide fodder for this war machine," he said.

Mr. Moore said the film describes financial connections between the Bush family and its associates and prominent Saudi Arabian families that go back three decades. He said it closely explores the government's role in the evacuation of relatives of Mr. bin Laden from the United States immediately after the 2001 attacks. The film includes comments from American soldiers on the ground in Iraq expressing disillusionment with the war, he said.

Mr. Moore once planned to produce the film with Mr. Gibson's company, but "the project wasn't right for Icon," said Alan Nierob, an Icon spokesman, adding that the decision had nothing to do with politics.

Miramax stepped in immediately. The company had distributed Mr. Moore's 1997 film, "The Big One." In return for providing most of the new film's $6 million budget, Miramax was positioned to distribute it.

While Disney's objections were made clear early on, one executive said the Miramax leadership hoped it would be able to prevail upon Disney to sign off on distribution, which would ideally happen this summer, before the election and when political interest is high.
Good, I back Disney on this one. Michael Moore is an idiot. If he doesnt like it here, he can get the fuck out, that fucking cock. *end rant*
Out of the mouths of babes...

How old are you again?

Fortunately we live in a country where we can express our disdain for what the President "Select", without much retribution...
But, the content of the film is NOT the question here. Disney has been making ass decisions for a few years now, and this one will prove disastrous.
Moore will find a distributor, and Disney will end up on the losing side once again. Disney dropped The Passion of the Christ and it ended up being the biggest R rated indie ever.
SirLardsAlot said:
Good, I back Disney on this one. Michael Moore is an idiot. If he doesnt like it here, he can get the fuck out, that fucking cock. *end rant*

Michael Moore is awesome. I don't understand this attitude Americans have.

"You want to improve our country? We can't have that! Why don't you fuck off to Europe if you want to improve America, you improvement-suggestin' fucker!"
Its not suprising how it always boils down to money. It's not stupidity, and its not a moral judgement like they would like you to believe at times. They want the $. If they piss off the people in higher places, they loose money. If they back a project that is "edgy" or too liberal, then they run the risk of dirtying their good name, and lose money and support there as well. They need to just focus on pimpin' Mickey and let the rest of us go to Hell in our own handbasket if we want. Quit trying to save the world with your goodie goodie-ness, cause it ain't gonna happen.

The other beef I have with Disney, is they can't seem to come up with any original ideas. It seems that all they do anymore is fund and distribute other peoples projects. Sure, it may say "Disney" on the box, but how big of a part did they play in the actual creation? My guess is not much..... other than they spent some and made more off the deal. I think they should quit playing games and rename themselves the "Disney Distributing Company".
I wouldn't be surprised if the Weinsteins give Disney the finger and take all their projects to Newmarket (I'm sure Newmarket will pick up the distro of Fahrenheit 911), since this is the second project Miramax had to drop due to Disney's concerns
Irrespective of what I think of Michael Moore there is one passage that worries me:

"(...)Mr. Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, said Michael D. Eisner, Disney's chief executive, asked him last spring to pull out of the deal with Miramax. Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Eisner expressed particular concern that it would endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush's brother, Jeb, is governor. (...)"

Perhaps Eisner is just excessively carful there, but if he should really have an actual reason to expect pressure from Bush's brother then that would be a massive abuse of power.
In the U.S. Michael Moore is either really liked or really hated. I personally really like the guy. Eisner is only creating more controversy. This only gives Roy Disney more firepower to throw at Eisner. Politics blow.
Well, it is Disney's choice to suck if they want to. I don't know why they'd get in such a panic about this little problem considering that their broadcasting arm, ABC, went and showed the Nightline special The Fallen, despite the protests that arose from right-wing conservatives who felt that the show was an anti-war protest.

With all the stuff that Bush is facing right now with the prisoner abuse in Iraq, it's just one more black eye for the Republican Party. :Smug:

Good! Fuck 'em!
The Moore controversy is part of this indecentcy(sp) "witch hunt" that's been going on since the Janet Jackson "Nipple Gate" at the Super Bowl.

I'm a loyal listener to Howard Stern & he's been bashing Bush for a while.Just when he started doing that,the FCC (run by Colin Powell's son) decided to go after Stern & other "shock jocks". Go to

for info on the witch hunt.

Disney is affraid of what the Gov. will do if they release that movie.

Alot of people think that this witch hunt is a "Wag The Dog" to keep attention away from the failing war effort(sp).I'm voting for either Kerry or Nader in Nov.

Like I said,go to Stern's site.There's a petition against the FCC & there's a shitload of info on Bush that alot of people don't want you to know.
I got the same thing here on the local rock station. Some of the things they did in the morning was funny as hell. Its still funny, but not quite as edgy and shocking. I like Chris Rock's point of veiw on the whole thing. There are certain things that you expect to be indecent. If you don't like it, change the channel, its your choice. But, if you are watching or listening to something supposedly family oriented and a racy or indecent instance happens unexpectedly (Janet Jackson's exposed and peirced right side sweater puppy), then you have something to complain about, and a heavy fine along with a public appology should be enforced to the parties involved.

I hate Bush, let me start say that right from the start, but Moore IS an idiot and a liar (almost as much as Bush).. and pretty much anybody who claims they like him... or they just like liars and spinnsters. I'm not really surprised Disney backed out, it's in their best interest financially, there's no way in heck Moore's film (not a documentary) will be bigger then The Passion of the Christ.
No one said that it would be bigger than the Passion of the Christ... but all the controversy of them backing out from distributing the film (just like they did with the Passion of the Christ), will only add to the curiosity of the masses... and of course, the current "anti-Bush" sentiment will definitely help Moore.
Whether he's a liar or not is not the point. I have heard of the editing of interviews and making up of facts (stuff which he counters on his own website and other websites), and to be honest, that is inconsequential (especially, since most of the people making these assertions were anti-gun control pundits)...
the real issue here is corporations making decisions on what we can have access to. A distributor like Disney has access to every screen in the country and all over the world... now, with Disney backing out, and probably every major studio distro, Moore will have to go with someone smaller... like Newmarket (distro of The Passion of the Christ), or self-distribute to art houses and let word of mouth take over (which... in my opinion... is the best way to go to make a point)...
Realize also that most of the major news media that you get your information from are owned by only about 5 major corporations (i.e. Disney, General Electric, News Corporation, etc.), each with their own agendas about what information will be distributed to the public; what information will be buried, especially if it's not in their best financial interests; what information will be discredited in order to save face with the public to keep their financial interests protected; what information supports the cause of those they have political ties to. It's all about keeping it "in the black."

For a good, accurate look of this situation, read Ben H. Bagdikian's The Media Monopoly or wait until May 30th, when his book, The New Media Monopoly will be released. All of Bagdikian's predictions have come true in each edition. If you don't see it as a problem when the information that you're being allowed to see is limited by government or corporate control, you're capable of being exploited.

It should also be noted that several major movie companies own theater chains across America (a breach of anti-trust laws in previous administrations), and those same movie companies are often owned by the same corporate interests controlling the media. Mr. Moore could very well find his film only being shown in the "art house" and independent theaters.

Regardless of Michael Moore being a liar, you're allowed to do that kind of thing in this country as long as you're not under oath. How else do you think Rush Limbaugh has made a career? :Smug:
There is something I have noticed when talking to Americans and that is that both sides, the conservatives and the liberals think that the media is prejediced against them. The conservatives claim that the media is trying to ruin Bush's reputation the liberals claim that they are covering as much as they can.

I don't know what to think of that but it is an interesting obersvation. :loco: