Disney 'blocks' new Michael Moore documentary
The Guardian Newspaper
05 May 2004 14:04 GMT
The controversial film-maker's anti-Bush polemic is 'on hold' after a row between Disney and Miramax.
Oscar-winning film-maker Michael Moore's latest documentary may be in cold storage following a reported row between its distributor, Miramax, and parent company Disney.
According to the industry newspaper Variety, the Walt Disney Company has moved to prevent the company run by the Weinstein brothers from releasing Fahrenheit 911, which links US president George Bush to Osama bin Laden and members of other powerful Saudi business families.
The follow-up to the anti-gun film Bowling for Columbine is still set to premiere at the Cannes film festival later this month, but does not currently appear on Miramax's summer schedule. There had been suggestions of a July release.
If true, Disney's move to block the new film's release would not be the first time Moore has been censored. In 2001, the release of the comedian and satirist's book Stupid White Men was blocked by publisher HarperCollins, who threatened to pulp printed copies, arguing that the book's attack on the US government was inappropriate in the months after September 11. Following a campaign by Moore, the book was eventually published and went on to top the New York Times bestseller list.
A Miramax spokesman told Variety the company was "looking forward to resolving this amicably". Disney itself was unavailable for comment, said the paper.
Fahrenheit 911 was originally the subject line of a February 2002 email from Moore to supporters accusing HarperCollins of failing to publish Stupid White Men because of its criticism of Mr Bush.
Moore has been relentless in his criticism of the government and used his Oscar acceptance speech in 2003 to further condemn the administration, calling Mr Bush "a fictitious president".