Friday, April 12, 2024

The Butler: Harvey Weinstein ” Wins”, Plays Warners and MPAA Like a Fiddle


It’s all over. “The Butler” will now be called “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” Harvey Weinstein lost his battle with the MPAA tonight. Warner Bros. kept him from using the title “The Butler” at the MPAA hearing in Los Angeles. Warner Bros. also handed Weinstein $50 million worth of free publicity over the August 12th release. WB played right into Harvey’s hands.

Now the entire world knows about “The Butler.” They will all be waiting on lines for popcorn, telling each other, “Did you hear about the title?” Harvey is totally a genius. It’s maybe the funniest story ever. He should send everyone at Warner Bros.’ free passes for opening weekend. Now “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”– which is what they knew they’d call the movie in the first place– will roll out with altered marketing materials– as if they weren’t all ready to go with that stuff anyway.

TWC pays the MPAA $400,000 in fines– a drop in the bucket. It’s just hilarious. My favorite thing was TWC getting the girl from “Bully,” whose name is Butler, to start a petition. I mean, the real father of modern public relations, Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud. would be so damn impressed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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