Actor/writer/comedian and all-around renaissance man Stephen Fry ("Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows") may be six-foot-five-inches tall, but this big-hearted personality is also a champion of the little guy. Make that the really little guy, in the case of "The Hobbit."
Yes, Fry is portraying the money-grubbing coward Master of Lake-town in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," but according to The Guardian he's actually siding AGAINST his own production in the case of England's The Hobbit pub in Portswood, Southampton, which was told by the Saul Zaentz Company it had until the end of May to change its name.
"Honestly, @savethehobbit, sometimes I'm ashamed of the business I'm in. What pointless, self-defeating bullying," Tweeted Fry on Tuesday to his over four million followers.
Zaentz's Middle-Earth Enterprises controls all the merch and licensing rights to JRR Tolkien's literary properties, but the problem is the pub hasn't the money to rebrand itself, although if it's cruising for more lawsuits it could always call itself The Leaky Cauldron.
Even after amassing 15,000 followers in a David Vs. Goliath-style campaign to save the pub, its landlady Stella Roberts says things are quite grim in the shadow of bigtime lawyers striking fear into small businesses.
"The pub has been called The Hobbit for more than 20-years and it has never been a problem," said Roberts. "I believe the decision to target us now was prompted by the release of the film ... We just haven't got the resources to fight it. I can't fight Hollywood."
Whether Fry bringing awareness of such "bullying" will get him in hot water with his corporate overlords, quite possibly costing him his role, it's refreshing to see a giant stick his neck out for a Hobbit.