For football fiends, Silver Linings Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro as Cooper’s superstitious bookie dad, is stuffed full of NFL references and scenes of frenzied fandom. The NFL Network, however, doesn’t see the movie so brightly.
Anger from The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein, the dramedy’s co-executive producer, rippled through the web over the weekend after the NFL Network dropped an interview with Cooper and Silver Linings costar Chris Tucker from last Friday’s one-hour The Rich Eisen Thanksgiving Special.
“The segment was pulled because the movie included content related to gambling on NFL games,” said the NFL Network in a brief statement to EW.
Weinstein lashed back, slamming the NFL and calling their move “censorship.”
“We are deeply disappointed in the NFL’s decision and we are quite frankly surprised. Pulling a pretaped interview with our stars is nothing short of censorship. As many people know, I am personally a big football fan,” said Weinstein in a statement to EW.
Cooper stars in the movie as Pat, an ex teacher just released from a psychiatric hospital, who moves back in with his parents. His worried mom Dolores is played by Jacki Weaver, and his greying, intense dad Pat Sr. is played by De Niro, who isn’t merely obsessed with the Philadelphia Eagles, but also runs a low-end football bookmaking outfit. Pat Sr. sees Pat as a sure-fire good luck charm, begging his son to watch games with him.
Weinstein, touting his deep connection to football, argued that the movie is more about bonding than betting.
“My wife Georgina, through her company Marchesa, designs clothes for the NFL charities and works pro bono. We screened SLP for Woody Johnson owner of the NY Jets, Steve Tisch owner of the NY Giants, for all the staff of the Philadelphia Eagles and everyone loves the film,” said Weinstein. “Silver Linings is not a film about gambling in the NFL. Its a film about fathers and sons and football bonding a family together.”
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