Brian Hiatt
May 05, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Mouse is roaring at Michael Moore. The Walt Disney Company has ordered its Miramax division not to release ”Fahrenheit 911,” a new documentary by Moore that slams President Bush, according to the New York Times. ”It’s not in the interests of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan battle,” an anonymous Disney exec told the Times. But Miramax believes that Disney has no right to block the release, and may be preparing for what Variety describes as ”the bloodiest political battle yet” between Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein and Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

Moore’s film examines alleged links between Bush’s family and Osama Bin Laden’s relatives, along with the family’s long relationship with Saudi Arabia. Moore, not surprisingly, is unhappy with Disney’s decision. ”Should this be happening in a free and open society where the monied interests essentially call the shots regarding the information that the public is allowed to see?” Miramax is allowed to find another distributor for the movie, but they would have to split the profits, according to the Times.   A Miramax spokesperson told Variety that the company is ”looking forward to resolving this amicably.”

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