Thanks to Daniel Drezner for pointing this out about Michael Moore’s CNN interview:
Gorani: What was your communication with Disney?So basically, they funded the movie and are now they’re guaranteeing your movie will be a hit by refusing to distribute it. Quit your whining, Moore.
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.
Moore goes on to talk about how free voices are being stifled because there are only a few companies and they run everything and yadda yadda. But, um, MM, you’re going to Cannes, your last film was the best-selling documentary ever (oh how it pains me to call that thing a documentary, because it so wasn’t), you’re so rich you could distribute this damn thing yourself. (I’m sorry, MM and i disagree a lot politically, but i also think he just makes the Left look bad and wouldn’t want him on my side, just like i don’t want to be associated with Ann Coulter.)
The good news is that internationally we already have distributors in much of the world. So it will be seen outside of America for sure some time this year. But I hope it doesn't happen where an American film maker makes a film about America and it can't be seen in America.See you stupid fuck, you even acknowledge that you and your movie will be fine. *stabs*
What is the message to the rest of the world then? It's not a good message so I'm hopeful we'll shortly have an American distributor. One good thing about Americans regardless of their political stripe is that they don't like to be told they can't see something -- that's what Disney has said. And I'm pretty confident we'll prevail here.
In Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another? The commercial glories of phony "censorship," Brian Doherty says things like:
Even Alternet recognizes that this supposed blow to his film's prospects are in fact a big plus for Moore, noting that Disney's decision "may not be such a bad thing for the bottom line... While Michael Moore is no slouch in the publicity department, when's the last time he had a film promoted on the front page of the New York Times months before its release?"He goes on to talk about how cries of “censorship!” helped many of MM’s other projects rake in the big bucks.
Oh, today i see major media has begun picking up on this as well.