Those who know me know that some of the only times I get mad at actors and actresses is when they shove their noses into politics. In most cases, the actor or actress know they are easily heard and decide they should be heard; if only to hear their own voice. Since it is politics, 50% of the people are bound to agree with them while the other 50% won't; when probably 80%-100% agreed with the them before they decided to speak up.
The notion applies to many including Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and the Dixie Chicks. When fans turned on each of these people, each responded by claiming they were using their right to free speech. Well, your fans decided to use their right of not buying your product.
The Dixie Chicks might have taken the biggest blow. Though the upcoming documentary, Shut Up & Sing, claims that they took a hit because they questioned the war in Iraq, it really came down to the comment from lead singer Natalie Maines when she said that she and her group were embarassed to be from the same state as Bush. Is that questioning Iraq or joining the frenzy by taking a cheap shot?
Anywho, Shut Up & Sing -- a title I couldn't agree more with -- should soon start making waves now that The Weinstein Company is at the reins.
Weinstein Acquires Shut Up & Sing
The Weinstein Company (TWC) has acquired the worldwide rights to “Shut Up & Sing,” a powerful documentary from two-time Academy Award®-winning director Barbara Kopple (“Harlan County USA,” “American Dream”) and director Cecilia Peck, which will be featured as a Gala Presentation at the 31st Toronto Film Festival. The film, which is produced by Kopple and Peck, is a presentation of Cabin Creek Films, and stars the Dixie Chicks: Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison. The announcement was made today by Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of TWC. “Shut Up & Sing” is the first documentary in 14 years to be featured as a Gala Presentation at the Toronto Film Festival.
“Shut Up & Sing” travels with the Dixie Chicks, from the peak of their popularity as the national-anthem-singing darlings of country music and top-selling female recording artists of all time, through the now infamous anti-Bush comment made by the group’s lead singer Natalie Maines in 2003. The film follows the lives and careers of the Dixie Chicks over a period of three years during which they were under political attack and received death threats, while continuing to live their lives, have children, and of course make music. The film ultimately presents who the Dixie Chicks are as women, public figures, and musicians.
“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,” said Harvey Weinstein.
Kopple stated, "At a time when Americans are divided between red and blue, rich and poor, immigrant and citizen, the Dixie Chicks and their music cross over many lines. They are contemporary but rooted in tradition, strong yet vulnerable-- career women who are deeply connected to family. This film tells the story of these all-American women who refused to back down and in the process became even stronger."
"The Dixie Chicks paid a huge price for questioning the invasion of Iraq and daring to say what millions of people were thinking,” said Cecilia Peck. “Our film looks at the cost of standing up for what you believe in, and the unbreakable bond between three brave women."
Michelle Krumm, executive vice president and co-head of acquisitions and co-productions, brought the project to The Weinstein Company.
Stay tuned for updates.