Moore sues ‘Fahrenheit 9/11′ producers, alleging profits skimming

By admin
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 13:29 EDT
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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore has sued financiers Harvey and Bob Weinstein for allegedly skimming more than $2.7 million from the profits of the 2004 documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11″.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday, “This case is about classic Hollywood accounting tricks and financial deception perpetrated by The Fellowship Adventure Group (TFAG) and its owners, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, against its partner Westside Productions, LLC, the “loan out” company for acclaimed filmmaker Michael Moore.”

The Weinstein brothers founded Miramax Films in 1979, but later sold the company to The Walt Disney Co. They have produced movies such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Scary Movie,” “Chicago,” and many more.

The Weinstein brothers and Moore had agreed to split the profits from the movie evenly, with both parties receiving half of the profits. Moore alleged that The Fellowship Adventure Group used “bogus accounting methods” to secretly withhold some of the profits from the film.

The alleged deception was revealed in November 2008, during an audit commissioned by Westside Productions.

“An independent auditor came in and discovered that the Weinsteins had re-routed at least $2.7 million dollars that belonged to Michael Moore from ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,’” Moore’s lawyer, Larry Stein, said in a statement. “This is the first time Michael Moore has ever sued anyone in his 20-yr career as a filmmaker. That should be some indication about how serious this is.”

“It’s very sad it had to come to this,” he continued. “Michael believes the Weinsteins have been a force for good when it comes to championing independent film — but that does not give them the right to violate a contract and take money that isn’t theirs. The $2.7 million is just the floor of what we believe is owed. When this goes to discovery I wouldn’t be surprised if the amount of what was taken goes much, much higher.”

The lawsuit alleged that Bob Weinstein used some of the movie’s profits to fly to Europe on a private jet, among other things.

“Mr. Moore has been paid a huge amount of money and he is not entitled to another dime,” Bert Fields, a lawyer for the Weinsteins, told the conservative-leaning Fox News Channel. “He has received every dollar he’s entitled to, and his allegations are a lot of hot air, which we will demonstrate to the court. There simply is no merit to any of his claims. They’re all just unfounded and bologna.”

Moore was unable to be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon. His media relations contact told Raw Story that they had not wanted to drag the case through the media, but made public statements due to the vocal objections from from Weinstein’s attorney.

“These aren’t the actions of someone who is filing a lawsuit out of anger or revenge,” Stein said. “This matter is quite simply a black-and-white, cut-and-dried issue — the Weinsteins owe Michael Moore at least $2.7 million, and after nearly 3 years of asking for it and being ignored, he was forced to take this regrettable action.”

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  • Guest

    Get ‘em, Mike!

  • Anonymous

    If Moore wasn’t such a capitalist, he wouldn’t care :)

    It’s certainly not taking food out of his mouth.

  • Anonymous

    Corporatist Plutocratic Fascist.

    He should give his works freely to the people in the Post-Business American Utopia advocated down here in this shithole.

    Doesn’t he know that?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TX3MXXPF52BXCKGNLDNPADILPQ paul rogers

    I’m sure he will divide the money evenly among everyone who worked on the film. There’s NO WAY he would rake in millions while the janitor (or camerman or caterer, or makeup artist) only made minimum wage.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KLF5SUA5RDYXG54WWF5SHMVRAI X

    This is common fare, particularly in the music industry. Publishers constantly hide sales to steal royalties.

  • Anonymous

    They always gotta screw the guys who make them rich. Must be a nervous tic or something.
    Next time Moore makes a movie – guess who won’t be producing and getting rich off it.

  • Guest

    So he should just let them screw the books and STEAL the dough?

  • Guest

    How is it “screwing the guys” when you want an accounting of THEIR THEFT?

  • Guest

    Moore DOES share profits around and gives to worthwhile causes as well.

  • Anonymous

    Some pinheads think that other people’s misdeeds are a valid excuse for their own.

  • Anonymous

    Stupid freaking unthinking idiot

    How is he supposed to spread his wealth around when other people are stealing it from him?

  • Anonymous

    If Moore isn’t careful, he may get blackballed by hollywood. Those two Harvey and Bob Weinstein are pretty powerful.

  • Anonymous

    He’s not supposed to spread his wealth.

    He’s not supposed to have any.

    Can’t you read, todaysponge?

  • Anonymous

    But he’s a member of the NRA I heard.


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TX3MXXPF52BXCKGNLDNPADILPQ paul rogers

    So do the Koch brothers…….to a much larger extent:

    in the last decade, it’s also worth noting the Kochs have given more than $600 million in pledged or donated money to arts, education, and medical research, including (but not limited to):

    New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell: $15 million

    M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: $25 million

    The Hospital for Special Surgery: $26 million

    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: $30 million

    Prostate Cancer Foundation: $41 million

    Deerfield Academy: $68 million

    Lincoln Center’s NY State Theater: $100 million

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $139 million

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ hounddogg

    wait…you do realize we are talking about “THE” Michael Moore here…right?…”Sicko”, “Roger and Me” , etc…he is above being blackballed…

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    Michael Moore is pretty powerful.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    Nobody “made Michael Moore rich” except Michael Moore. Unless Harvey and fuckface produced and directed Roger and Me. They would never have chosen to do business with him if he were not already a hit machine.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    Is that the best you can do? That was even weaker than than your usual drivel.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    GOP 100 million

  • Richard

    Blackballed? No way…. Michael Moore produces good stuff…… money makers…. and in Hollywood…. money counts. Good luck Michael, hope you win your case :)

  • Anonymous

    With apologies for my lack of clarity…
    “They always gotta screw the guys who make them rich” means Harvey and fuckface have the nervous tic and are trying to screw M.Moore.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes
  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    I think he did tell people to make copies of it and give out free once when Alex Jones confronted him.

  • Anonymous

    Financiers Harvey and Bob WEINSTEIN, Bert FIELDS, a lawyer for the Weinsteins, Moore’s lawyer, Larry STEIN, Michael MOORE Reminds me of Sesame Street. ♫ One of these names is not like the others, one of these names is not quite the same♫

  • Anonymous

    He already is blackballed by hollywood. He has a grueling battle to get each movie out, but because his products make good money, every movie eventually gets out, generally by some off brand. I have never seen his movies listed in the newspaper movie listings or or the online schedule. It is necessary to go the the site of the theater, or Moore’s own website.

  • Anonymous

    “Mr. Moore has been paid a huge amount of money and he is not entitled to another dime,” Bert Fields, a lawyer for the Weinsteins, told the conservative-leaning Fox News Channel”

    His feet are planted in shit.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    Isn’t “pinheads” O’Really’s favorite attack term?

  • cannotvote

    So far Michael Moore has shown himself to be a person of integrity – I hope he wins, sickem fang!
    The Winestiens are businessmen – not to be trusted, hence the audit! Though I don’t think they’re quite as malignant as many of their contemporaries, still I’m sure though that they couldn’t help themselves!!!

  • hourglass1

    “conservative leaning Fox News Channel”

    good gawd Eric W. Dolan, that is one funny line!

  • hourglass1

    the shit is that bert fields and company will eventually bill much more than what the weinsteins could have paid for this to go away …

    “mr moore has been paid …” – ah, so the weinsteins made the film.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    So it appears that Mr. Moore is just another money grubbing person on the make for another buck. How sad. He is just like all the other crooks in business he has legitimately exposed over the years. However, this makes him appear to be just another hypocrite….scrounging for MONEY.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t one of them “Super Dave”?

  • Anonymous

    Lawyer-up. Any guesses on who Michael will get?

  • Anonymous

    If there was a contract that said 50-50, then he has all the rights you or I would have no matter the amount involved. Also, maybe Moore intends to donate the money to some
    worthy cause, like making a film about the Koch bros.

  • PeterGrfx

    So what would you do if $2.7 million was taken from you? Is it wrong or hypocritical (or money-grubbing) to demand what’s rightfully yours?

  • hourglass1

    he got a stein sans wein, dc

  • hourglass1

    i’m sure they get a lot of dinners in their honor – i’m sure they will be paid in full here and in the hereafter. but got any figures on the actual cost to you and the treasury because of their influence, mr rogers?


    While the statutory corporate income tax rate is 35 percent, the effective corporate tax rate – the actual share of corporate taxes paid on corporate profits – has averaged just 26 percent since 1993, according to the Congressional Research Service.

    While the more recent corporate tax shortfalls may reflect a weaker economy at the beginning of 21st century, much of it can be attributed to both the Bush administration’s corporate tax cuts enacted in 2002 and 2003 and the loopholes in the tax code that have allowed corporations to shelter income offshore. The 2002 and 2003, tax bills cost $177 billion in corporate tax breaks in fiscal years 2002 through 2005, $44 billion in 2002, $53 billion in 2003, $64 billion in 2004 and $16 billion in 2005 (all figures estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation). Estimates of the cost of corporate tax loopholes have been projected at upwards of $50 billion a year, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.

    As corporate tax receipts decreased, payroll taxes, the most regressive of all taxes, increased dramatically. Specifically, payroll taxes increased from 1.6 percent of GDP in FY1950 to 6.8 percent of GDP in FY2002, surpassing both corporate income taxes and excise taxes in their contribution to total federal receipts. This rise in payroll taxes represented a 30 percent increase in the contribution of payroll taxes to overall federal revenues.

    At the same time, individual income taxes also increased in the past half century as both a percentage of GDP and in their relative contribution to total federal tax receipts. Individual income taxes rose from 5.8 percent of GDP in FY1950 to 8.3 percent of GDP in FY2002. The regressivity of the Bush tax cuts

  • Guest

    I wonder how many even know who “Super Dave” is due to age difference. (-:)

  • Guest

    Balance THAT with the damage they do!!!

  • llkernj

    Fuck, I accidentally clicked the like button. But in your bizarro world I suppose it makes sense. Like the typical right wing hack who attacks every single thing Obama does, you see Moore trying to get what’s rightfully his as a character flaw.

  • Guest

    So what’s wrong with that? The NRA as an “institution” and because of their politics suck BUT they do serve a purpose on lower levels such as hunter safety courses and education about guns.

    I certainly DESPISE guns but nothing is all black or all white. Reason? When the fucking government-programmed neo-Brown Shirts start coming ’round, I want my shot at them. (Pun intended.)

  • Guest

    “He’s not supposed to have any.”


  • BrainRagYell

    What a load of shit.

    Moore didn’t go after them, this was discovered by an independent audit. Guess you just read the headlines, huh? And yeah, as said below, if someone owed you that kind of money, I guess you’d just let it ride, huh? What a hero. If only we could all be as selfless as you.

  • Anonymous

    This may turn out to be a documentary in itself on how corporatist goal is to illiegally break contract agreements.

  • BrainRagYell

    FYI, “minimum wage” in film is called “scale,” and it’s way higher than the actual Federal minimum wage that the Republican Tea Party wants to dismantle.

    Besides that, if you’ve ever listened to anyone who’s ever worked on a Moore film, you’d know they’d do it for free because they believe in him.

    And there is no “makeup artist” on a documentary, and “catering” is called “craft service.”

    You may now resume your regularly scheduled ignorance of all things related to film.

  • BrainRagYell

    Yeah, EXACTLY. This is the most ridiculous argument. It’s like a priest that saves someone from committing suicide and then gets discovered raping an altar boy. You can’t get credit for doing good some of the time.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, JasonA, If you had a contract with another person/company to build tables and split the profits and you found out “through an independent audit” that your partners were scimming profits (or in other words stealing from you millions of dollars that was rightfully yours) off the top, you would say ” Hey, guys, you got me, congratulations. Don’t worry, I won’t go to court like that money grubbing Michael Moore. You ripped me off fair and square!!! Hey, I have a great idea about making headboards! Would you like to go into partnership with me so I can work hard on making the product and you can steal even more money out of my pocket?
    That’s the problem with you Teapublicans birther, flat earthers, You support those that act against your best interest like Dick Armey, Grover Nordquist and Fox News and complain against those who are actually trying to help the middle class.

    The A in JasonA must be the initial for the word A%&hole.

  • Anonymous

    They would get a kick out of that guy…..ha ha ha.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, they all have Jewish sounding names. Please bypass my house on your next kristalnacht extravaganza when you are heading back to Redstate and Breitbart.com.

  • Anonymous

    I think he got these guys to go after the pricks:


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QIJ4LGZX6PZOJSD57QIC3NRAA Straw

    Capitalism – A Love Story.

  • Anonymous

    You sure got that right! F 9/11 opened on one screen in Albuquerque 700,000+ market that had gone 60% Gore! And only one screen in OKC even bigger market though right-wing as hell.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TX3MXXPF52BXCKGNLDNPADILPQ paul rogers

    So, the people who work for him do it for free because they believe in the cause. He does it to make millions off of the free labor. How very progressive of him!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TX3MXXPF52BXCKGNLDNPADILPQ paul rogers

    Agreed, that was exactly the point I made in response to “where goeth sanity” when he tried to defend the lying, anti-American, destructive, money grubbing, fat slob by saying that “Moore DOES share profits around and gives to worthwhile causes as well.”

    You and I are finally in agreement!

  • Sandi

    “”Mr. Moore has been paid a huge amount of money and he is not entitled to another dime,” Bert Fields, a lawyer for the Weinsteins, told the conservative-leaning Fox News Channel”.

    Moore was “paid”? That sentence says a lot. Apparently the Weinsteins are convinced that Michael Moore is their employee. No wonder they have no problem skimming millions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QIJ4LGZX6PZOJSD57QIC3NRAA Straw

    No. It’s just that it’s pretty funny when you have people that bitch about capitalism, until it’s time to count out the PROFIT.

  • Anonymous

    What have a said that isn’t true? I have every reason to have written what I did. Look at the people that brought about our latest economic meltdown. Name them and their ethnicity and their positions. Sometimes the truth hurts. I am probably more of a leftist than anyone else on this thread but I am also honest and call them as I see them regardless of race color or creed. Assholes come in all colors, sexes and religions.

  • Anonymous

    If we all joined the NRA and returned them to sanity by electing let’s say Michael Moore as president that would be good no?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-W-Roads/629696293 Chris W Roads

    Yes if you breach a contract with Micheal Moore That makes Micheal the bad guy.

    Also if you have money and try to help poor people your an asshole because you have money.

    Are people really this stupid ?