Dixie Chicks Documentary Could Be Election Issue -- Hollywood Reporter - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-22-2006, 01:59 PM   #1
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Dixie Chicks Documentary Could Be Election Issue -- Hollywood Reporter

I'm excited about this documentary mostly because I'm still floored at the frightening lengths people took to shut the band down just because they had differing opinions.

Dixie Chicks Documentary Could Be Election Issue

By Gregg Goldstein

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The politically charged documentary "Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing" has been picked up for worldwide distribution by the Weinstein Co.

A release is tentatively scheduled for the fall, possibly right before the November elections.

The film revolves around the aftermath of singer Natalie Maines' statement at a 2003 London concert, where she said, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

It chronicles death threats, political attacks and radio boycotts against the country trio, and that could make the film a political hot potato as well as potential ammo should longtime Democratic party supporter Harvey Weinstein become involved in the fall political campaigns.

Asked why she and co-director/producer Barbara Kopple chose to go with the Weinstein Co., Cecilia Peck said, "They made a great offer," though no figures were disclosed. Such companies as Focus Features and Picturehouse expressed interest in the documentary a few months ago.

Sources involved in the negotiations said some parties in the documentary's camp wanted to screen the entire film for several indie distributors, while others only wanted a 15-minute highlight reel to be shown. Eventually only two final bidders were allowed to see a complete rough cut of the film: the Weinstein Co. and Sony Pictures Classics, a sister company of the Dixie Chicks' Columbia Records label.

"I am extremely proud to be associated with this film because it's not only an outstanding and creative piece of work, but it also exposes our responsibility as Americans to confront our fundamental right to freedom of speech," Weinstein said.

Kopple said plans for a grassroots promotional campaign are still being discussed, and Peck said the film is likely to be a hot topic in the approaching elections. "It deals with freedom of speech, censorship and other important issues," Kopple said. "It looks at the cost of standing up for what you believe in."

The documentary still is being completed ahead of its world premiere at next month's Toronto International Film Festival.

In addition to chronicling the lives of Maines and bandmates Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, Kopple said the documentary features clips from 15 of the Dixie Chicks songs and a new one written especially for the film, though no soundtrack is planned. "You definitely feel like you're in the front row of a Dixie Chicks concert," Peck said.
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Old 08-22-2006, 02:10 PM   #2
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Wow. Thanks for the info. I am definitely interested in seeing this as well.....
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Old 08-22-2006, 02:16 PM   #3
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Who would this be an election issue for? They've already alienated the only people they ever could have swayed in the past by flat out not knowing their audience, I dont think anyone else takes them serious or even cares. Contrary to Hollywood belief, celebrities have next to no US political influence and can in no way swing an election as was easily shown in the past election where countless celebrities tried to get people out to vote so Kerry would win, but it backfired and raised the number of people who voted for Bush. Yay Hollywood!
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2popmofo
by flat out not knowing their audience,
Well honestly, who would ever guess your audience is that sheep-like and opposed to free speech? Of course they knew their audience leaned more to the right, but the reaction was ridiculous and ignorant.


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Originally posted by u2popmofo

Contrary to Hollywood belief, celebrities have next to no US political influence and can in no way swing an election as was easily shown in the past election where countless celebrities tried to get people out to vote so Kerry would win, but it backfired and raised the number of people who voted for Bush. Yay Hollywood!
This is funny, you actually think it raised the number of Bush voters? What evidence do you have of this?
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Old 08-22-2006, 05:12 PM   #5
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Well honestly, who would ever guess your audience is that sheep-like and opposed to free speech? Of course they knew their audience leaned more to the right, but the reaction was ridiculous and ignorant.




This is funny, you actually think it raised the number of Bush voters? What evidence do you have of this?
Leaned to the right? It's country music, there's no such thing as a left for them (other than in Nascar). I think the audience reaction was as much about free speech as their comment was, particularly at the moment.


Bush's win percentage rose from his first election. The entire "celebrity push" was supposedly happening because people thought this would move votes squarly into the democrats lap and put them on top, at least that's how I certainly took it and heard it spun in the media. Bush winning a larger amount of the vote was certainly not what they expected would happen. While it may be difficult to prove that this "celebrity backing of the left" somehow helped Bush win, it did seem to scare more Bush supporters into thinking they needed to go out and vote. I think the more likely truth is that the type of people who would be swayed by a celebrity's opinion are not the kind of people who care to vote in the first place. Voter turnout and reasoning is never much more than theories and guesses though, so solid evidence pointing towards anything is an impossibility in my opinion.
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Old 08-22-2006, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2popmofo


Leaned to the right? It's country music, there's no such thing as a left for them (other than in Nascar). I think the audience reaction was as much about free speech as their comment was, particularly at the moment.
They have/ had a pretty mainstream/ pop following as well. I really don't think it has much to do with free speech then it did the us against them political environment at the time.

Quote:
Originally posted by u2popmofo

Bush's win percentage rose from his first election. The entire "celebrity push" was supposedly happening because people thought this would move votes squarly into the democrats lap and put them on top, at least that's how I certainly took it and heard it spun in the media. Bush winning a larger amount of the vote was certainly not what they expected would happen. While it may be difficult to prove that this "celebrity backing of the left" somehow helped Bush win, it did seem to scare more Bush supporters into thinking they needed to go out and vote. I think the more likely truth is that the type of people who would be swayed by a celebrity's opinion are not the kind of people who care to vote in the first place. Voter turnout and reasoning is never much more than theories and guesses though, so solid evidence pointing towards anything is an impossibility in my opinion.
I think the war and not having a clear cut canidate on the Democratic side raised Bush's vote definately not Vedder, Stipe, and Springsteen.
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Old 08-22-2006, 06:22 PM   #7
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maybe this can have as much an effect on the election as fahrenheit 9/11 did

celebrities tend to think of free speech as being without consequence. whenever a crowd reacts badly to what they have to say, they scream that their right to free speech is being violated, when in reality, it's just the opposite.

you have the right to say whatever you want, and i as the consumer have the right to either agree or disagree. and when the majority of your main target audience lives in red states, what the heck do ya think is going to happen?

wah wah wah... we alienated the country music mainstream and now everyone should feel sorry for us.

uhhhh no. you took a stand, and good for you. you went against the mainstream, and there are some who look up to you for that. and then there are others... like the ones who listen to the radio stations that give your records the most spins, who don't care to listen to you anymore... which is of course their right in a free society.

free speech is a two way street. just because you have something to say doesn't mean that your audience has to listen. all it ensures is that you have the right to say it.

the dixie chicks aren't the first major musical act to have their music boycotted for taking a social/political stance... but they certainly have been the most whiney about it.
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Old 08-22-2006, 06:38 PM   #8
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When you speak your mind, you do have to accept that people are going to disagree with you but I think that what happened to the Dixie Chicks went far beyond that. The girls and their families had legitimate threats made against them, that goes beyond just a simple disagreement into some really scary territory.
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:02 PM   #9
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Country music fans go bananas because a country act disses their president? Whatta surprise. The doc won't sway anyone who boycotted the band, and the rest of us think they suck anyway.
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Old 08-22-2006, 08:16 PM   #10
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I don't like Dixie Chicks music that music, but I salute them for their attitude and I'm glad that they kicked arse those who opposed them and by their unafraid attitude of expressing themselves in a world that's not that free as many want to make believe.
I'm sure that they were plenty conscious of the consequences of those speeches and attitudes in their popularity and represion, so that was brave.
Naturally, they suffered... But they were not lonely...

Remember the bitch "queen of pop" that used to chart every single in the top10 or at least in the Hot 100?
Well, after the American Life incident that she only stalled only one single in the Billboard Hot 100. Even though her videos stay the 65 days until being rejected in TRL and having massive marketing and selling out tours, only "American Life" went to #37, Hung Up to #7 and Sorry to #58. The excuse is that dance music is not aired is the US and that the radios don't like it, only Hiphop and RnB. In fact, in Canada it still charts very well, but the truth is that 70% of the american radios that use to air popular artists like Madonna are controlled or owned by relatives of the Bush family. I think that says it all...
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aygo
but the truth is that 70% of the american radios that use to air popular artists like Madonna are controlled or owned by relatives of the Bush family. I think that says it all...
It doesn't say shit until you prove that.
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:16 AM   #12
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It's not me who's got to prove it...
This happened to a few artists. Some were more punished others less...
There were a few articles talking about it at the time...
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Old 08-23-2006, 01:03 PM   #13
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It's not me who's got to prove it...
Yeah, when you claim that the Bush family owns and/or controls 70% of the radio station, I want proof. Yes, you do have to prove a ridiculous statement like that.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:27 PM   #14
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Radio boycotts and in particular death threads have nothing to do with freedom of speech. The opposite, actually.
You should not be getting radio bans (censorship) and death threads in a democracy for critisizing the president.

Their fans are of course, entitled to not listen to their songs on the radio or buy their albums and disagree with them in a respectable manner.
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Old 08-23-2006, 04:12 PM   #15
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Radio boycotts and in particular death threads have nothing to do with freedom of speech. The opposite, actually.
You should not be getting radio bans (censorship) and death threads in a democracy for critisizing the president.

This is where a lot of the confusion seems to be. I would agree with you that if it was a state sponsored radio boycott, that would be a terrible offense. Since it was nothing other than certain radio stations that were privately owned deciding that they no longer wanted to play their records, that IS free speech. The radio stations used their free speech to say, we don't like this artist and will no longer support them. It works both ways.

Similary with death threats, how was freedom of speech affected here? It's not as if they were state or government sponsored death threats. Yes, it's terrible that people we go so nuts as to make death threats about something so pathetically stupid, but that has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
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