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Harvey Weinstein Enlists Jesse Jackson, NAACP, Ben Jealous, Roy Innis In Battle Over 'The Butler' Title

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 19, 2013 4:23 PM
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"The Butler."
"The Butler."

I was hoping this had been put to bed already, since I hadn't read any updates in a little while. But it's still very much in play.

In short, the most recent update, courtesy of THR, states that Harvey Weinstein has enlisted the civil rights leader trio comprised of Jesse JacksonNAACP president & CEO Ben Jealous, and National Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, Roy Innis, in his fight against Warner Bros. over the use of the title The Butler.

Throwing their support behind Harvey Weinstein and the Lee Daniels-directed film, the trio released the following statement:

"We are all watching and waiting for the results of today's arbitration and hoping that Warner Bros. and the MPAA make the right decision on this important movie about civil rights."

The arbitration referred to above involves The Weinstein Co.'s lawyer David Boies, making another attempt today to secure the title for the upcoming movie (which opens in just under a month - August 16th), in an appeal hearing of the MPAA’s Title Registration Bureau. Thus far, Warner Bros has been on the winning side of every previous ruling on the matter.

My question is, what exactly are Jackson, Jealous and Innis going to do here, and why would Harvey Weinstein enlist their help? How much influence do they have with the MPAA? With Warner Bros.? Or is their plan to have this case instead tried in the court of public opinion, making public, rousing speeches, and calling their flock to rise up against this *injustice*?

This entire thing is becoming sillier to me. Somebody has to give eventually... and thus far, The Weinstein Company is losing.

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More: Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels

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  • jess | January 10, 2014 4:13 PMReply

    Is there any way to determine how much money the Weinstein Co. and DreamWorks have donated to the NAACP in recent years? NAACP's leadership were out pimping "The Help" to America a few years ago.

  • vdub | July 21, 2013 7:37 AMReply

    WHOA! I sincerely hope that Jesse Jackson, Ben Jealous and Roy Innis, Jr. will back up with a quickness. Weinstein has more than enough resources to fight this battle; let him use them. Furthermore, how is this an "important movie about civil rights"... seriously? I remember reading the NYT story about the brother after the 2008 general election. I found the story to be very poignant. Once Lee Daniels was announced as the director all interest I had in the story disappeared.

  • Reinaldo | July 20, 2013 4:20 PMReply

    Perhaps there is an important donation behind this?

  • campbell | July 20, 2013 12:03 AMReply

    Weinstein is the president.
    These negroes are the butlers.

    Mo, tea suh?

  • Sweeta | July 20, 2013 12:53 PM


  • Donella | July 19, 2013 11:25 PMReply

    This is such bullshit. The NAACP carries Weinstein's water?

  • CareyCarey | July 19, 2013 9:57 PMReply

    I GOT IT. Harvey should call the film "Pulpit Pimps For Hire". Hey, I'm not kidding. I mean, I said so in another post, we all know this whole fiasco (including the goal of the movie) is nothing more than heedless American white capitalists doing what they do best. That is, view African Americans and their history as inert pawns upon a chessboard of profit and loss. Come on now, is it me or are they not pimping and pandering for black votes?

    Surely this is a bugle call from the pulpit, informing every black person to support this movie because this-is-an-important-film-on-the-CIVIL-RIGHTS-movement-that-blacks-must-support (since there's black folks on the screen)-and-if-we-don't- Hollywood will never-ever-again make a movie about our past struggles. And then, Harvey, George Lucas (Red Tails) and the boys will never bet on black again.

    Harvey Weinstein, if you don't GTFOOH with that BS, you're gonna have me act a fool up in here. And, take Crispy Dollar, Daddy Rich and the Reverend Ike with you.

  • Xi | July 19, 2013 8:59 PMReply

    OH. MY. GAAAAHHHH! Stunt alert! Step right up to see the stunts! Seriously, if he was smart, he would've gotten the church behind him. If they could do it for superman...

  • soul man | July 19, 2013 6:26 PMReply

    now white rich people can pull the race card? mwahhahhhhaaaaaaaaa...

  • Sweeta | July 20, 2013 12:51 PM

    Right??! WTF! Sad thing is in Hollywood TWC plays the dealer most of the time and NOW is talkin this BS. Aw hell nawl...

  • blah, blah | July 19, 2013 5:41 PMReply

    I see Harvey is trying to take the George Lucas approach to film promoting. That's right: make it a "black thing;" wait for folks to get riled up enough to organize bus trips to the theater (as a protest against Hollywood); cash-in.

  • Nadia | July 19, 2013 5:23 PMReply

    These so called "leaders" sound more like Harvey's "boys" to me. I mean seriously. These are the same fools who ran to defend Django Unchained and publicly attacked Spike Lee when he spoke out against it, because Harvey asked them to. Of all the issues they should be rallying around, this one shouldn't be on their list. This is just stupid and they should be ashamed of themselves. I mean, really, Harvey just calls and asks them to do something, and they say, yes sir. SMH.

  • ALM | July 19, 2013 5:12 PMReply

    With all that is going on in the world, Weinstein wants to pull civil rights resources to his film? This must be a joke. There are REAL issues that need attention.

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