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MPAA Overturns Its Original Ruling on 'The Butler' Title; Harvey Weinstein Responds

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire July 22, 2013 at 11:55AM

Harvey Weinstein has won, sort of. After going to battle with the MPAA after the organization sided with Warner Bros. and initially ruled that The Weinstein Company couldn't call Lee Daniel's latest "The Butler" because of an almost century old Warner Bros. short comedy that bears the same title, the MPAA has overturned their original decision. The film, which will in all likelihood be re-titled "Lee Daniel's The Butler,'" can now use the word "butler" in its title, but should they choose to add Daniel's name, the new ruling states that "Lee Daniels" must be 75% the size of "The Butler."
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Harvey Weinstein has won, sort of. After going to battle with the MPAA after the organization sided with Warner Bros. and initially ruled that The Weinstein Company couldn't call Lee Daniel's latest "The Butler" because of an almost century old Warner Bros. short comedy that bears the same title, the MPAA has overturned their original decision. The film, which will in all likelihood be re-titled "Lee Daniels' The Butler,'" can now use the word "butler" in its title, but should they choose to add Daniel's name, the new ruling states that "Lee Daniels" must be 75% the size of "The Butler."

Also, according to the ruling, TWC will have pay a fine of $25,000 a day, dating back to July 2, or $400,000 for violating the initial ruling. That fine will increase to $50,000 a day if the studio fails to issue new digital materials by July 26 and new print materials by August 2.

Still Weinstein said, "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."

For more on the case go here.

This article is related to: The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein, Lee Daniels' The Butler