It's Censorship!... Or is it?

An article by FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) blares this headline: Michael Moore Film Faces Disney Censorship. This is referring to a situation whereas Disney is disallowing its subsidiary, Miramax, to distribute Moore's film Fahrenheit 911. In his usual martyr role, Michael Moore states:

I would have hoped by now that I would be able to put my work out to the public without having to experience the profound censorship obstacles I often seem to encounter

As would be expected from the beginning, Disney has indeed sold its rights to the film, so Moore’s film will eventually see the light of day. But under a different name and distributor.

But was this really censorship? Of course not.

There is essentially no such thing as 'censorship' by a private organization. Such an entity can release whatever film it wants, when it wants, and restrict any material it deems necessarily in order to facilitate the overall well-being of the company. The market will decide whether this private company is making the best decisions or not. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are behind Disney's decisions to pull the plug. Censorship can only be enacted by the state, meaning that the consumer would have no other choice but to abide. In the Moore example, there are a myriad of other studios who will line up and acquire the rights to show the film, especially considering the success of his most recent 'documentary', Bowling for Columbine.

At the end of the day, Moore will have his movie released, and the dozens of websites highlighting each inaccuracy in his film will then blossom.

Share this

There is essentially no such

There is essentially no such thing as ?censorship? by a private organization. Such an entity can release whatever film it wants, when it wants, and restrict any material it deems necessarily in order to facilitate the overall well-being of the company

I disagree on a mere technical basis.
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=censoring
I think this can apply to a private organization. After all, private broadcasting companies do hire censors in order to comply with FCC regulations. It is the act of their censors filtering objectionable material that is the censorship, not the FCC's regulations.

However, I do agree that Michael Moore was not censored, but only because the choice not to distribute is not censorship. If that's the case, then every other film distributor out there is currently censoring his film. It would qualify as censorship if Disney not only chose to not distribute his film, but coercively convinced other distributors to not distribute it as well.