Michael Moore has just filed suit for over $2.7 million in unpaid royalties from the documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11”. Mr. Moore is claiming that his long time financial backer, Harvey Weinstein, defrauded him of the funds. The suit begins by describing how this was a typical “Hollywood accounting trick and deception”.
Weinstein is one of the biggest names in independent film. The 2004 documentary grossed over $220 million in royalties. The filing comes at an embarrassing moment for Weinstein, who is currently pushing hard for his film “The King’s Speech” to receive Oscars.
Moore claims in the suit that Weinstein deducted inappropriate expenses from the royalties of the movie. The agreement had been to split profits evenly after expenses, so deducting before the split resulted in lost millions to Mr. Moore. Expenses deducted include a private jet trip to Europe for Mr. Weinstein and an assistant.
Weinstein’s attorney responds that the claims are unfounded and “just designed for the media.” The whole incident may end up being fodder for Mr. Moore’s next documentary.
Already, just a day after the news was released, conservatives have been lambasting Moore for calling in attorneys in the first place. The mere fact that he made documentaries that they disagree with apparently means he has no right to sue anyone for anything without being labeled a “hypocrite” and of course worse. It has also been argued that if he were really a “socialist” or “man of the people” he would not think to sue.
These arguments are so much hot air, and any news of Michael Moore is an instant prompt to those waiting to unleash their bile on anything to do with him. If he was ripped off as he claims, then he has every right and reason to seek redress through the courts. Being a liberal does not mean you should accept any and all abuse without responding.
Cover of Fahrenheit 9/11