Region: North America
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Medium: Film Video
Artist: Michael Moore
Confronting Bodies: Walt Disney Company
Date of Action: May 2004
Location: United States
Description of Artwork: Michael Moore's documentary, Fahrenheit 911, explores links between the Bush family, Osama bin Laden and the Saudi monarchy. His films are known for their leftist political viewpoint.
The Incident: In early May, 2004, the Walt Disney Company announced that it will block its subsidiary, Miramax, from distributing Moore's latest film. Disney has declared that, being a family oriented entertainment company, it does not want to be associated with a film that has such strong, partisan political intentions. Some believe that Disney fears it will lose tax breaks from the state of Florida, under the governorship of Jeb Bush. Conservatives criticized Disney in May 2003, when it announced that Miramax would distribute the film.
Results of Incident: Fahrenheit 911 premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2004 where it was was awarded the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm), the festival's highest award. The film had a general release in the United States and Canada on June 23, 2004. It has since been released in 42 more countries. By January 2005, the film had grossed nearly $120 million in U.S. box office and over $220 million worldwide, an unprecedented amount for a political film. Sony reported first-day DVD sales of two million copies, again a new record for the genre.
Source: The New York Times, 5/05/2004; Wikipedia