I’ve read these stories about the battling Crash producers three times now — Sharon Waxman and John Horn‘s, I mean — and both are written so impartially that I can’t tell what’s really going on, but it seems to boil down to this: (a) Bob Yari, the former real-estate mogul who’s moneyed his way into the upper ranks of indie film producing over the last two or three years, has sued the Motion Picture Academy and the Producers Guild for denying him producer credit on Crash, (b) Crash wouldn’t have been made if Yari hadn’t put up a reported $7 million bucks (director-writer Paul Haggis has said as much) but the Academy and Producer’s Guild people who blew him off have seemingly said to themselves (by way of my extraordinary powers of perception), “He’s just an oily operator and a money guy and therefore not ‘one of us’, and we have a solemn responsibility to honor the hands-on producers…the people who really produce the movie on a day-by-day, task-by-task basis…so too bad for Yari but he’s rich so let him cry all the way to the bank“; (c) Yari has produced a lot of films recently that have been weak box-office performers (Prime, The Chumscrubber, Winter Passing, Thumbsucker, A Love Song for Bobby Long…otherwise known as “Bobby Way-Too-Long”) and perhaps he’s looking to do a little make-up bookkeeping, which, if true (and I’m not saying it is), could be a factor is his being acccused of hoarding his Crash profits. Cathy Schulman, a hands-on Crash producer who’s one of those lucky few who will be up on stage at the Kodak theatre Sunday night if Crash wins the Best Picture Oscar, recently filed a lawsuit (which I hear makes excellent reading, but unfortunately is not on The Smoking Gun) accusing Yari of acting from “greed and ego” in failing to pay at least $2 million in producing fees to her and partner Tom Nunan. So that boils it down, I think…Yari wants respect as a real producer and not just a financier but the Producers Guild isn’t buying because they see him as just a guy who writes checks and so he’s sued them to make them pay for this condescending attitude, and Yari seems to be a bit of a skinflint when it comes to paying people who think he owes them money…”seems” being the operative term. The man’s name ends in a vowel and he wants respect. If it were my call, I would give him a producer credit and let him take the stage with Schulman. He’s a player…he’s out there plugging and trying to make a dent…he had the moxie to write the check that made the film possible…c’mon.