Moore sues Weinsteins over “Fahrenheit 9/11″ profits

The docmaker is seeking over US$2.7 million, alleging that his former partners engaged in "classic Hollywood accounting tricks and financial deception."
February 8, 2011

A longstanding relationship between agit-documentary maker Michael Moore and the Weinstein Brothers appears to be in jeopardy following Moore’s launching of a lawsuit against the Weinsteins, alleging “bogus accounting methods” that have hidden the true amount of profits due to Moore for the hit documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

In the lawsuit, which can be read here, Moore alleges that The Fellowship Adventure Group (TFAG), a company established by Bob and Harvey Weinstein to partner with Moore’s company, Westside Productions, on producing and distributing Fahrenheit 9/11, “has failed and refused to share equally the fruits of the venture as the partners had agreed.” The suit maintains that the partners agreed that Moore would write, produce and direct the film and that TFAG would finance, sell and distribute the film, with the profits to be shared equally, 50/50.

The lawsuit states that Moore’s company became aware of the irregularities through a 2008 audit commissioned by Westside, revisited in 2010. One of the things uncovered in the audit, according to the 17-page lawsuit, was the chartering of a private jet to fly one of the Weinsteins and his assistant to Europe, charged to the production. The plaintiffs allege the breach of fiduciary duty has caused “no less than $2.7 million” worth of damage to Westside.

The Weinsteins’ attorney, Bert Fields, told Variety the claims were “hogwash” and that he’s aiming to take the case to trial.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is the highest-grossing documentary of all time, raking in over US$220 million since its 2004 release.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.