The Weinstein Co. has unveiled the first posters for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, four days after it was forced to change the title from The Butler. Both posters show a white-gloved Forest Whitaker along with the new title (the poster above evoking the famous photo from the 1968 Olympics of Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the black power salute during their medal ceremony). TWC is releasing the film on Aug. 16. The Motion Pictures Assn. of America (MPAA) ruled Friday that TWC could keep The Butler”as part of the title, but would have to change its marketing materials and pay $400,000 in fines for violating a July 2 finding that the use of The Butler as the title had violated MPAA rules because Warner Bros. owns rights to The Butler.
The ruling also required that, should TWC use Lee Daniels’ The Butler as the title, the “Lee Daniels” part of title had to be 75% the size of “The Butler.” Lee Daniels’ The Butler is centered on African-American butler Eugene Allen, who worked in the White House during eight presidencies throughout the civil rights era. The film also stars Oprah Winfrey. TWC’s fine of $25,000 a day, dating back to July 2, is based on violating the initial ruling. The fine will increase to $50,000 a day if the studio fails to issue new digital materials (trailers, TV ads) by Thursday and new print materials by Aug. 2.
article by Dave McNary via Variety.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson