Deadline is reporting the Michael Moore, the creator of such famous films as “Sicko” and “Capitalism: A Love Story,” is suing his erstwhile distributors and financial backers, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, for unpaid profits for “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
Moore, a well-known critic of capitalism, is demanding that he be paid at least $2.7 million he claims the Weinstein brothers diverted in a classic Hollywood-style “creative accounting” scheme. Moore has already taken a $19.8 million payday in back end profits from “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a critique of the War on Terror and the Bush administration for which Moore won an Oscar.
The lawsuit, filed in a Los Angeles court after months of attempted mediation, promises to be a good, old-fashioned Hollywood legal cat fight over money. The problem is how fate can arrange for both sides to lose.
That Michael Moore is pretty much hated in Red State America is a given. His films, thinly disguised “documentaries,” are fiction-filled screeds against some aspect of American society that Moore finds it profitable to attack. “Bowling for Columbine,” for example, attacked gun owners. “Sicko” was an assault on the American health care system.
Moore also lives what is best described as an elitist lifestyle of the sort that is at variance of his self-created image of a blue collar, working class guy from Flint, Mich., first presented in his film “Roger and Me,” which attacked the automotive industry.
$19.8 million is an immense amount of money to earn even from working on a feature motion picture, not to speak of a “documentary.” But it seems that Moore, man of the people, scourge of the greedy and of the rich, wants more.
On the other hand, according to Deadline, Moore has a point about the shady business practices of the Weinstein brothers.
“I last year opined that people do business with the Weinsteins’ companies often do so at their peril and that my past reporting shows that almost everyone who trusts them lives to regret it, especially the moviemakers who believe Harv’s big promises and then come running to Deadline to complain.
“To anybody who thinks I’ve gone soft on the Weinsteins, you must be new Deadline readers. The fact is that no one wrote harsher articles about the indie movie studio’s 2009 meltdown: the massive layoffs, revolving door executives, and movie release schedules in shambles. The Weinsteins spent most of that year promising filmmakers a theatrical release then not doing it and, in some cases, dumping the pics straight to video.”
The irony is that Moore would still be an obscure purveyor of polemics, known to few people outside the readers of Aintitcool, if the Weinstein brothers had not noticed him and given him financing and distribution. The Weinsteins made Michael Moore famous, much to their mutual benefit. Now they are going to try to destroy one another.
It should be fun to watch.
Source: Michael Moore vs Movie Accounting: Sues Weinsteins For More 9/11 Movie Profits After Already Pocketing $19.8 Million; Yes Or No – “He Redefines The Term Greedy”? Nikki Finke, Deadline, February 7th, 2011