Now I really want to watch the Dixie Chicks’ Shut Up & Sing documentary, which the Weinstein Co. is opening in New York and L.A. tomorrow and nationwide on 11.10, now that the the cowardly NBC and CW networks are refusing to air ads for the film, apparently because they’re afraid of whatever political blowback may result from vengeful apparatchiks in the Bush adminstration.
Harvey Weinstein, co-owner of the Weinstein Co., is fuming about this turndown and complaining big-time to Matt Drudge, who apparently broke the ad-turndown story this evening. “It’s a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society,” Harvey’s saying, “ that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is sad and profoundly un-American.”
Drudge is reporting that NBC has said the network “cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush” and that the CW is explaining its refusal is because it “doesn’t have appropriate proramming in which to schedule this spot”
Barbara Kopple‘s Dixie Chicks doc, which I didn’t manage to see at the Toronto Film Festival, is, I’ve read and been told, an above-average behind-the-scenes look at the political fallout that that happened in ’03 after the group’s lead singer Natalie Maines said she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
Drudge is reporting that the Weinstein Company “is exploring taking legal action.” The rejected commercials for “Shut Up & Sing” can be viewed here.
The Dixie Chicks ad turndown follows last week’s story about Fox, NPR and CNN refusing to run ads for Newmarket’s Death of a President, which is partly about the fictional shooting of Bush at a Chicago political rally and how the government is subsequently a little too eager to pin the blame on a man of Middle Eastern descent.