Harvey Weinstein recently released a statement regarding the MPAA’s approval to allow the Weinstein Company to use The Butler title:
"We are thrilled this has all come to an end and has been resolved. The MPAA's overturning of their original decision to now allow the use of 'butler' in the title is a victory for Lee Daniels, the film's 28 investors who believed in it, America’s greatest attorney David Boies, and especially in the memory of my friend and the film's producer Laura Ziskin. Now we can focus on the importance of Lee Daniels' film, the amazing performances by Forest, Oprah and the incredible cast who spent countless months bringing this story about American history and civil rights to screen." Harvey Weinstein, TWC Co-Chairman.
On Fri., July 19, prior to the MPAA’s decision, The Weinstein Company had enlisted the help of some of the nation’s civil rights leaders. The company distributed the following press release.
The Weinstein Company (TWC) acknowledged today the support of three of the nation's leading civil rights activists in the dispute with Warner Bros over use of the film title THE BUTLER. They are:
* Reverend Jesse Jackson, Founder and President, Rainbow PUSH Coalition
* Ben Jealous, President & CEO of NAACP
* Roy Innis, National Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
TWC is currently in arbitration with Warner Bros., with the help of renowned attorney David Boies, over the use of the title. An appeal on the case, which was originally ruled in favor of Warner Bros by the MPAA, began today at 1pm ET/10am PT. TWC is presently set to release a film of this name, directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, on August 16th. Warner Bros alleges that the rights to the title belong to them, as the company also released a film called THE BUTLER in 1916.
Jackson, Jealous and Innis released a joint statement today, saying: "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."
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. TWC releases took home eight 2012 Academy Awards®, the most wins in the studio's history. The tally included Best Picture for Michel Hazanavicius's THE ARTIST and Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay's UNDEFEATED. THE ARTIST brought TWC its second consecutive Best Picture statuette following the 2011 win for Tom Hooper's THE KING'S SPEECH.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; 1408; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH'S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE IRON LADY; W.E.; CORIOLANUS; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; BULLY; THE INTOUCHABLES; LAWLESS; KILLING THEM SOFTLY; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; QUARTET; ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH; DARK SKIES; THE SAPPHIRES; SCARY MOVIE 5; and KON-TIKI. Currently in release are UNFINISHED SONG and FRUITVALE STATION. Upcoming releases include THE BUTLER, THE GRANDMASTER and SALINGER.
TWC is active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production Meryl Poster. TWC is the studio behind such hit television series as the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series PROJECT RUNWAY and its spin-off series PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS and PROJECT ACCESSORY; the VH1 reality series MOB WIVES and its spin-off series MOB WIVES CHICAGO and BIG ANG; and the critically acclaimed scripted HBO comedy/crime series THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY which also received a Peabody Award. The company is in production on the upcoming TLC series WELCOME TO MYRTLE MANOR, the A&E series RODEO QUEENS, and the Lifetime reality competition show SUPERMARKET SUPERSTAR hosted by Stacy Keibler. Among TWC's other projects in development for television are the martial-arts epic MARCO POLO for Starz, an untitled private eye procedural for FX, and THE NANNY DIARIES developed by ABC with a pilot by Amy Sherman Palladino.