Allen Loses Film Editing Battle
Woody Allen lost his legal battle with former producer Jean Doumanian over the editing of his films for television and airplanes in a New York court yesterday (25MAY06). Allen filed suit against Doumanian, her partner JACQUI SAFRA and their production company Sweetland Films five years ago (01), accusing them of cheating him of $12 million (GBP6.6 million) in profits after refusing to give him an earning report for eight movies. Despite reaching a settlement in 2002, the case was brought back to the Supreme Court this week after a provision from the agreement stipulated if the parties disagreed over the editing for television, the matter would be resolved by a judge. Doumanian was responsible for editing Bullets Over Broadway, Mighty Aphrodite, EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU, Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity and Sweet and Lowdown for television and in-flight movies. On Thursday, Justice BERNARD FRIED agreed that under the terms of the settlement Doumanian had the right to edit offensive words with substitute words, instead of bleeping them out as Allen would wish. Fried supported Doumanian's argument that US TV networks preferred to substitute words rather than bleeping. The director's lawyer MICHAEL ZWEIG says, "We now respectfully disagree with Judge Fried's decision and believe that, in any case, any future effort by the producers to modify the films will not, in the long run, prove attractive or commercially viable."