Fahrenheit 9/11 — Publicity Stunt or Legitimate Gripe?

The Independent reports that Michael Moore knew that Disney wasn’t going to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11 a year ago. Here’s the CNN interview in question. The full quote is this:

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 the big question here is whether this is a trumped up publicity stunt or a legitimate case of Moore defiantly raging against the machine. Granted, the semantics don’t help Moore’s case. But in light of the deflating Disney image, part of me wonders if this was a ploy by Miramax to stir up a Pixar-like shakeup.

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  1. Of course it’s a publicity stunt. That’s the whole reason it’s being put about now just as it’s about to have its international debut at Cannes. And I’d feel more sorry for Moore being oppressed by The Man had he not continued making the film and taking The Man’s money after he knew The Man didn’t want to release his film.

  2. Slick move, to my mind, taking “The Man”‘s money to make it and then having a more progressively minded company make the money off it. Stunts? Who needs a freakin’ stunt when your reportage is the self-same footage that mass media self-censored (I’m speaking here of “imbedded” journalists in US units in Iraq that Moore managed to infiltrate).

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