ABC Affiliates Blocked From Interviewing Johnny Depp Because He Is Promoting A Film Not Produced By Disney

from the taking-the-ball-and-going-home dept

Disney recently released the fourth entry of the Pirates of the Caribbean on DVD. With this, the full force of Disney's marketing muscle is on the loose. This includes enforcement of a clause in Depp's contract that prevents any ABC affiliate from interviewing him if it relates to any non-Disney film.

Otm Shank writes in to let us know that the Austin based KVUE, an ABC affiliate not owned by Disney, attended a premiere of Depp's new movie The Rum Diary but was not allowed to interview him. As pointed out by TVSpy, KVUE reporter Shelton Green said:
We came here expecting to talk with one of the biggest names in Hollywood. But apparently Disney doesn't want Johnny Depp’s new movie, premiering here at the Paramount, to get more exposure than his newest 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie. So they didn't allow us to interview him, nor did they allow us to get video of him.
Is there really a point to this embargo? I don't think so. By enforcing this embargo on ABC affiliates, Disney is not helping to promote its films, but is rather forcing these local stations to lose value with their viewers. Which do you think most viewers and fans of Johnny Depp want to watch, a report about not being able to interview Johnny Depp or an interview with Johnny Depp? I guess Disney doesn't care about the fans of the actors they work so hard to 'protect'.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 4:04am

    While this is "minor" and "silly" I think this should highlight all the of the problems people pointed out in giant corporations owning all sorts of media outlets.

    To take it to the furthest silly level (which will come to pass)...
    A portion of the contract does not allow them to provide any coverage about a massive accident at Disneyland when Epcot ripped from his moorings and rolled killing 1500 people.

    Now cue the AC brigade of "They would never do that! People saw it and they can't ignore it."
    I point out our Government pretending nothing was leaked by keeping their employees from looking at what everyone else in the world can see.
    I point out NYPD spokesweasel claiming Bologna was aiming for men, men that were super ninjas and managed to vanish, when he lost it and started pepperspraying women.

    We are lied to on nearly a constant basis, but one would hope that trying to protect a movie studio's profits would maybe just maybe be the straw and broke the camels back. But I doubt it... we still have news "outlets" talking about secret muslims, fake birth certificates, and communists trying to steal all of the money.

     

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    John Doe, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 4:16am

    So much for the news being unbiased

    If this doesn't prove bias in the media I don't know what does.

     

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    Scooters (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 4:43am

    "I guess Disney doesn't care about the fans of the actors they work so hard to 'protect'."
    Duh. They're not cartoon mice under their control...

    ... yet.

    Right now, they're merely puppets who'll drive out in force to get the "latest before it's gone forever".

    Walt Disney would be furious to see his company like this.

    Disgusting doesn't even begin to describe this company.

     

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    Butcherer79 (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:07am

    Partial Blame?

    Shouldn't Depp himself be taking some of the blame here, after all, he must have willingly signed the contract that forbids him to talk about his other projects?
    You could turn it around and say that he neither appreciates his fans nor his own publicity, or that of his other employers.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:30am

      Re: Partial Blame?

      That implies a few things
      - That he reads the whole damn thing.
      - That there was not undo pressure to accept it.

      I highly doubt his legal team came to him and said, Oh yeah if we sign this all of your other work will get snubbed by all ABC stations.

      I am much more surprised this is the first time anyone brought this sort of thing to light, I am willing to bet this has been going on for a while and someone finally had had enough and spoke out.

       

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        Butcherer79 (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:51am

        Re: Re: Partial Blame?

        I don't think it's being snubbed, the film is getting publicity still, it's just that the star of the show can't be interviewed; which I still think his legal team ought to be all over. It cannot be doing his future employment opportunities (outside of disney) any favours if he cannot promote his own talent.

        On your first two points, if he doesn't read his contracts, then, in my opinion, he is just as much to blame for it's content as the people who wrote it. He's willing to put blind faith into said contract.
        He's a massive star, I think disney need him more than he needs disney, if there's any undue pressure being applied it ought to be from his legal team, not disney.

         

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 6:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Partial Blame?

          This current version of the contract stops them from interviewing him. Looking at the insane amounts of control the big media corps demand in all things, I can see them trying to push to where they can try and choke out the competition by denying them coverage.

          He cannot promote the show on ABC stations, there are many other outlets still available to him. The public is now aware that Disney puts their profits above covering news.

          Reading the contracts is something most people can not do, they lack the legal education to unravel all of the confusing tiny print.

          He is a massive star, but Disney is a massive corporation and I doubt anyone would benefit if they decided to go to battle.

           

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          btr1701 (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: Partial Blame?

          > it's just that the star of the show can't
          > be interviewed

          Sure he can. Just not on ABC.

          > It cannot be doing his future employment
          > opportunities (outside of disney) any favours
          > if he cannot promote his own talent.

          Sure he can. Just not on ABC.

          Let's not make this into more than it is.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 7:27am

      Re: Partial Blame?

      If I was paid the piles of money these actors get for working I would happily decline interviews to anyone my paying employer dictated. No sympathy for anyone here; Depp is filthy rich, and Disney doesn't care about him. I, in turn, don't care about either, helping preserving the balance of things in my own little way.

       

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        Butcherer79 (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 7:41am

        Re: Re: Partial Blame?

        In that case, this really doesn't affect you one iota, in fact, it would seem a bit of a waste of time in you commenting and in turn, me repl........

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:11am

    WHO FUCKING CARES............. Are people really reduced to pumping this up to something that actually matters?

     

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      John Doe, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:23am

      Re:

      Yes, it does matter. To me, the lesser important point here is that the studio is more concerned about themselves than the actor but when it comes to copyright issues they claim it is all done for the actor/musician/writer.

      The most important point here is that the media is being told what they can and can't report on. It isn't much of a stretch to believe that they are also being told how to report on it. So much for the new media being the fourth estate of the government.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 6:25am

        Re: Re:

        The studios own the actor as the RIAA owns the musician.
        No one should be signing with MAFIAA.
        This is just one of the many stupid copyright and actor contract examples and there are many more dumb ones that people sign to advance their own money.
        I want nothing to do with MAFIAA.One hell of a greedy world in Hollywood the land of broken dreams

         

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      Butcherer79 (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:25am

      Re:

      The original reporter, Mr Knight and the (currently) 6 other comment posters.

       

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:35am

      Re:

      Now try to take a step back and look at the 2 weeks where OWS were mostly ignored in the media. Then they were being openly mocked as a buncha whiners. Now we have police beating citizens and using methods that horrify and there is now some SLIGHT reporting on the big picture, because they can't ignore it any more.

      When the TEA Party came to be, 10 people had a public meeting and there were 40 cameras. When the darling of the party was found to be living on SS, something they want done away with no one really wanted to cover that.

      We are always being manipulated with the reporting and coverage, and while you think this story is nothing the simple fact they will go this far to protect their movies by leashing media outlets they control really indicates serious problems.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 6:34am

      Re:

      Funnily enough, you're the first one to become emotional and start shouting. On a Monday morning. Because a single story in an opinion blog didn't match your own personal interests.

      You're right, we should ignore small examples of anti-competitive dealing within the industry because Mr. Random AC doesn't like it.

       

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    AJBarnes, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:12am

    Yet again...

    Short-sighted media idiots cut off nose to spite face... So every other news outlet will interview Johnny Depp and ABC will be the one to miss the story. Will someone with a brain every be employed by these companies? Or, is room-temperature IQ sufficient??

     

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    Jason, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:44am

    protecting Depp

    You have this all wrong. Disney wants everyone to know about all their great products. But Depp is such an idiot he would mess up any interview that doesn't have a script with cue cards in front of him. This is purely protecting his image/character. After all, look at Mini Mouse. She is F'ing Goofy, and you know how that made Mickey feel.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:54am

    KVUE reporter Shelton Green won't be in the biz long,

    if doesn't understand that reporting on "inside contracts" isn't a draw, either. It exposes the biz. Bad all around. Not smart for publicity. -- And the bit quoted simply sounds petulant, as if Green thinks /he's/ doing the studios a favor. Perhaps Green simply doesn't understand the contracts.

    Isn't an unusual condition. Studios used to frequently have "exclusive" contracts: the trick was to snag the up and coming and sign them to an exclusive before they were wise to the game and valuable enough to get better terms.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 6:30am

      Re: KVUE reporter Shelton Green won't be in the biz long,

      "It exposes the biz. Bad all around. Not smart for publicity."

      How dare a reporter actually point out the truth! It's bad for business! Yeah, I think that's kind of what's being discussed.

      "Studios used to frequently have "exclusive" contracts: the trick was to snag the up and coming and sign them to an exclusive before they were wise to the game and valuable enough to get better terms."

      Indeed... and then the studio system collapsed.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 5:59am

    Hunter is probably rolling in his grave right now, but I bet part of him is smiling from the publicity its bringing anyway. Or maybe he isn't rolling at all, and he and Depp knew this would happen, to their ultimate advantage.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 7:23am

    We came here expecting to talk with one of the biggest names in Hollywood. But apparently Disney doesn't want Johnny Depp’s new movie, premiering here at the Paramount, to get more exposure than his newest 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie. So they didn't allow us to interview him, nor did they allow us to get video of him.

    Good all this BS is coming to rest right in the entertainment industry's lap.

    Enjoy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 7:32am

    Don't they do this in China, Russia and other command and control countries?

     

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    abc gum, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 8:00am

    ABC is not allowed to report this "news"?
    Certainly this is advertisement rather than news.

     

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    Digitari, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 8:04am

    RE Reading ability

    Am I the ONLY one that saw KVUE is NOT owned by Disney, That's Why they are upset, they WANT the interview, so Disney should just stuff it.....

    I have not watched any disney film since the original herbie series, ( no not the lohan one, before that)

    BTW if you have an "exclusive" contract, doesn't that mean he can't work on non-disney movies??

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 8:28am

      Re: RE Reading ability

      Terrific. Parade your ignorance of Disney movies for all to see.

      I have heard Depp interviewed regard The Rum Diary and his weary dullness was unmatched except for all his previous interviews. My guess is Disney knows he's a bore and are trying to protect him from himself.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 9:03am

        Re: Re: RE Reading ability

        "My guess is Disney knows he's a bore and are trying to protect him from himself."

        By keeping him from talking about non-Disney movies? He can still be interviewed by ABC affiliates for his Disney movies.

         

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 8:33am

      Re: RE Reading ability

      KVUE is an ABC affiliate, if they disobey Disney they lose their affiliate standing and all the things that come with it. I don't know what those things would be, but I would guess that they would lose access to TV shows, exclusive interviews, news reports, press passes, that kind of thing.

       

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    ltlw0lf (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Just another copyright maximalist looking out for the welfare of their artist. Come-on guys...its for the children^Wartists.

     

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    c0c0c0 (profile), Oct 31st, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    Studios

    When people choose a movie do they really take into consideration what studio it came from? The first 5 minutes of a movie is nothing but ads for production companies that people don't really even care about. Does it really matter anymore if it is Disney or Paramount or Fox or whoever else is out there? People only care about the movie it's self or who is staring in the movie.

    Johnny Depp could have cross promoted both movies at the time of interviewing to satisfy Disney, instead Disney made themselves out to be Cruella de Vil © ™ ® DisneyCo (The name was used in what this commenter assumes is Fair Use Tech Dirt assumes no responsibility of this commenter's use of DisneyCo's names.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 2:51pm

    The Disney company hasn't cared about anything but money since Eisner took over. Unfortunately, it seems Iger is the same way.

     

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