Moore blames GOP for ''9/11'' TV cancellation. He mulls breach of contract suit against In Demand

By Gary Susman
Updated October 18, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Michael Moore: Janet Hostetter/AP

On pay-per-view service In Demand, on the night before the election, you can watch Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ but not, despite earlier plans, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. On Friday, In Demand announced that it would no longer air the anti-Bush documentary on Nov. 1 (it had been scheduled as part of a pay-per-view event called The Michael Moore Pre-Election Special, which would have bookended the film with new celebrity interviews), citing ”legitimate business and legal concerns,” an In Demand spokesperson told the Associated Press. But Moore told AP he believed In Demand was caving in to pressure from ”top Republican people.”

It’s not clear what ”business and legal concerns” In Demand was worried about; unlike broadcast outlets — such as the Sinclair-owned stations that plan a primetime airing this week of the anti-Kerry documentary Stolen Honor — pay-per-view cable channels are not subject to federal equal-time regulations governing candidate appearances. But In Demand may face another legal battle, this one with Moore, who told AP he was contemplating legal action over the cancellation. He said he’d signed a contract with In Demand in September and suggested that the company had breached it. ”Apparently people have put pressure on them and they’ve broken a contract,” Moore said. In Demand, however, said in a statement, ”We regret that our decision has led Michael Moore to consider legal action against us,” which the company said would be ”entirely baseless and groundless.”