Wednesday, May 5th, 2004
Disney Has Blocked the Distribution of My New Film…
by Michael Moore
I would have hoped by now that I would be able to put my work out to the public without having to experience the profound censorship obstacles I often seem to encounter.
Yesterday I was told that Disney, the studio that owns Miramax, has officially decided to prohibit our producer, Miramax, from distributing my new film, “Fahrenheit 9/11.” The reason? According to today’s (May 5) New York Times, it might “endanger” millions of dollars of tax breaks Disney receives from the state of Florida because the film will “anger” the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. The story is on page one of the Times and you can read it here (Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush).
The whole story behind this (and other attempts) to kill our movie will be told in more detail as the days and weeks go on. For nearly a year, this struggle has been a lesson in just how difficult it is in this country to create a piece of art that might upset those in charge (well, OK, sorry — it WILL upset them…big time. Did I mention it’s a comedy?). All I can say is, thank God for Harvey Weinstein and Miramax who have stood by me during the entire production of this movie.
There is much more to tell, but right now I am in the lab working on the print to take to the Cannes Film Festival next week (we have been chosen as one of the 18 films in competition). I will tell you this: Some people may be afraid of this movie because of what it will show. But there’s nothing they can do about it now because it’s done, it’s awesome, and if I have anything to say about it, you’ll see it this summer — because, after all, it is a free country.
UPDATE: From MoveOn.org:
Tell Disney to show us Michael Moore’s documentary:
Executive Vice President
The Walt Disney Company
Phone: (818) 560-1000
If the line is busy, call a Disney store near you.
UPDATE: Michael Moore responds to claims that this letter is a publicity stunt (i.e. that he supposedly “knew” Disney would never distribute the film.)