Watch: Harvey Weinstein & Attorneys Discuss 'The Butler' Title Dispute On 'CBS This Morning'

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by Sergio
July 9, 2013 12:18 PM
5 Comments
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Oprah Winfrey in the "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

UPDATE: Video of Harvey Weinstein and all the attorneys involved in this mess of a case, talking about it on CBS This Morning, has surfaced, and is embedded at the bottom of this post. Within it, you'll find a short clip from the film that we haven't seen yet. 

First, Sergio's original post immediately below...

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It should be obvious to anyone, of course, that this legal fight between Warner Bros and The Weinstein Company over the use of the title The Butler by TWC, is really about something else. 

However what that “something else” might be has been a mystery. Although it now seems that it’s finally becoming clearer what that is.

When two leading film studios act like spoiled little children, something has to be is up, and it turns out it's likely a squeeze play by Warners.

According to the New York Post, all this is about Warner Bros trying to wrestle financial control from another property that the Weinsteins have partial rights to.

And that property is The Hobbit franchise.

In addition, Harvey Weinstein and attorney David Boies appeared on CBS This Morning to talk about the fight over the title to The Butler, when Harvey asserted that Warner Bros. is retaliating because of his rights to The Hobbit dating back to his and brother Bob’s early ownership of Lord of the Rings

Of course Warner Bros. says it isn’t true. 

According to lawyer David Boies, who TWC has hired to defend their title battle, Warner is holding a major civil rights film hostage to extort unrelated concessions from TWC. And that Warner Bros. is trying to use the title dispute as leverage to get the Weinstein Company to give up their investment in an unrelated film.

Both Harvey and Bob Weinstein own 2.5 percent of the over billion dollars that The Hobbit made worldwide, due to a rights deal that they made years ago involving the property.

And there has been an ongoing simmering dispute for some time between the Weinsteins and Warner over what their stake would be from the two Hobbit sequels that are being made.

All this has resulted in a squeeze power play by Warner to force the Weinsteins, perhaps, to either give up their share, or to take a huge reduction in their percentage, in the form of this legal battle over The Butler title.

Another reason why Hollywood is a cutthroat business...

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Here's the CBS This Morning video:

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5 Comments

  • furtgo | July 9, 2013 5:15 PMReply

    Well, it's very likely that it's about WB not having enough of the Hobbit/LOTR money and their wanting more money, but they happened to pick the wrong movie to make an example of and people are going to think they're doing it out of racial resentment. Using the new Butler as a pawn can backfire on WB; they should have selected some Seth Rogen or Sandra Bullock movie to hold hostage.

  • umwow | July 9, 2013 1:28 PMReply

    Those who invested in this film will be hard pressed to get their money back. The legal fees alone will prevent that.

    Curious to know what Weinstein picked it up for

  • CareyCarey | July 9, 2013 9:16 AMReply

    Sergio rides again. Because he reads a lot of stuff and thus knows a lot of stuff, he has again brought us the good stuff.

    And, although I shouldn't do this because nobody likes a person who says "I told you so", BUT... I ain't scared of you m*&*^%%$#s :-)

    "I wouldn't necessarily call this a petty dispute nor would I pull the race card. This is a disagreement between two big hitters in the film industry, so MONEY is lurking somewhere in the wings. As Tambay noted, there's a huge expense associated with changing the title at this stage of the game. But I am not quite sure what Warner Bros hopes to gain by their move, but again, I tend to believe MONEY is a goal." ~ CareyCarey

    Well-well-well... my ol' friend the gossip hound Sergio Mims. has made me look like a soothsayer of sorts. But wait, tick tock the game don't stop. Remember Lee Daniel's pitiful letter he wrote to Warner Bros. Entertainment's CEO Kevin Tsujihara, essentially pleading with him to let them keep the title? Well, for those who didn't read that crock of sh*t, aside from him acting as the boss man's do boy, he basically implied The Weinstein Company's intent in funding this film was based solely on their desire to tell the dark and beautiful story of our nation's racial history, where we came from, and how far we have come? Okay, I'm gonna say it, I am going to call that simpin' ass letter exactly what it is -- BULLSHIT!

    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.

  • CareyCarey | July 9, 2013 1:30 PM

    UPDATE: After watching this new video I wish the sandman would come out and drag Harvey's fat ass and his mouthpiece lawyer off the damn stage. I mean, is it me or didn't they just pimp and pander for black votes? Sure they did, didn't they?

    Didn't I just hear the bugle call for every black person to support this movie and their position 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-we'll-be-sending-a-bad-message-to-Hollywood. And then, Harvey, George Lucas (Red Tails) and the boys will never bet on black again.

    Yep, the message is loud and clear, from what I gather pimpin' ain't easy but it sure pays well. And, white boys will continue to play some blacks for zip fools.

  • But | July 9, 2013 8:14 AMReply

    I's just a butlah...please ya'll kindly goes and sees my film...yessuh, it's a good 'un...lol

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