Look who wants to fight Oprah over an illiterate, overweight African-American girl: Harvey Weinstein. Actually, Harvey isn't fighting Oprah Winfrey directly; The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Lionsgate filed lawsuits against each other yesterday, both claiming the right to distribute Sundance award-winner Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire, according to indieWIRE.
On the surface, this is patently absurd. We're not talking about a sure-fire box office smash, are we? The premise of Push (not to be confused, of course, with the super-powered action movie opening tomorrow) is so "unsettling and bleak that no one would blame you if you didn't want to see it:." That's how Eric D. Snider began his review from Sundance. Even with Oprah and Tyler Perry getting behind the release, Push sounds like a tough sell. So why is Harvey suing?
His lawyer claims it's because a deal was in place with sales agent Cinetic Media, who went "behind their backs" to make a better deal with Lionsgate. Cinetic says that a deal with TWC was not in place. Beyond the 'he said, she said' legal disagreements, David Poland commented: "Unlike Lionsgate, TWC is NOT a company with a strong history of releasing films for black audiences. On the other hand, they now have Tom Ortenberg, who was probably drooling at the opportunity to top Lionsgate with TWC's first real urban film."