SBD/December 3, 2012/Media

"Silver Linings Playbook" Producer Weinstein Decries NFL Network Cancellation

Harvey Weinstein, the exec producer of the movie "Silver Linings Playbook," discussed the NFL pulling actors Bradley Cooper and Chris Tucker from an NFL Network podcast because the league deemed the movie to be about gambling. Weinstein, appearing on Reuters TV, said, "The movie has a theme about football and a little bit about gambling, but it's not about any of those really. It's about family, relationships and romance being given a second chance." He added, "The NFL is saying this movie is about gambling? They better see the movie. I showed the movie to Woody Johnson, who owns the New York Jets. He loved it. And I showed it to (NFL Giants Chair & Exec VP) Steve Tisch and he loved it. We showed it to the Philadelphia Eagles ownership guys and they loved it. So this is ridiculous. I’m pretty sure (Cowboys Owner) Jerry Jones saw it too and he liked it. So I don’t get this" (REUTERS.com, 11/29). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Michael David Smith wrote the NFL “comes across looking silly when it won’t even allow an actor to be interviewed on its network if that actor has appeared in a movie in which a character bets on a game." Smith: "This incident makes the NFL look small” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 11/30). SBD Exec Editor Abraham Madkour writes about the NFL’s reaction to the movie in this week’s SportsBusiness Journal editorial.

CALLING THE HOTLINE: The plot for comedian Rob Riggle’s picks segment on “Fox NFL Sunday” yesterday largely focused on gambling on NFL games. The segment opened with Riggle in a large fur coat to promote “Riggle’s Picks Platinum,” a handicapping service for gamblers. Riggle said, “It’s ‘Riggle’s Picks Platinum,’ my upgraded picks segment. Now for an additional fee I’m providing Fox viewers with top-secret, inside information from around the league.” Speaking on the phone to a client, Riggle said, “I heard [N.J. Gov. Chris] Christie is taking over the Jets next year as head coach. He’s great with disasters and he’s fat.” Riggle then told the camera, “Is this a bit of a cash grab? Yeah, it’s not easy being Rob Riggle. I have unique expenses: Houses, boats, houseboats.” Riggle told a client, “Here are my non-platinum picks: I’m taking the Jets, the Broncos, the Chargers and the Colts. But for a $1,000 more I can give you Riggle’s picks platinum, huh? Hello?” Riggle then gave the injury report to another client on the phone, “DeSean Jackson out with cracked ribs, Sebastian Janikowski has the meat sweats, Arian Foster has night terrors.” Riggle said to the camera, “I’ll take information from anyone: My nutritionist, my dog’s stylist, the man who lives outside my bank!” The camera switched to a homeless man sitting in a cardboard box holding a sign that read, “Please Help!! Need food, a.k.a. booze.” The “homeless man” was actually UFC President Dana White, who said to the camera, “Cam Newton is pregnant" (“Fox NFL Sunday,” Fox, 12/2).
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