'The Butler' Becomes 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' in Title Saga Conclusion

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Ah, compromise. Both sides agree and everyone's happy … right? Well, maybe.

In the latest — and hopefully final — update of "The Butler" title saga, Warner Bros. and The Weinstein Company have settled on an agreement that will make everyone (somewhat) happy.

For those of you who haven't been anxiously awaiting the outcome of this oh-so-exciting dispute, here is little catch-up of what's gone down so far:

…which brings us to today. TWC's appeal finally took off last Friday, and both parties came out, to some extent, on top. In short, the MPAA said its original ruling went too far. While TWC is now allowed use the word "Butler" in its title (give or take a few restrictions), it still has to pay a s**tload of money for violations.


As per the MPAA Appeals Board's decision, if TWC does use the word "Butler," all words have to be the same size and prominence. In addressing rumors that the company has decided to title the film "Lee Daniels' The Butler," the Board also stated that "Lee Daniels" has to be 75% the size of "The Butler" (um, oooookay).

In terms of fines, TWC has to pay $400,000 to the Entertainment Industry Foundation for initially using the title without authorization, with an additional $50,000 a day if it doesn't issue new digital and print materials by July 26 and Aug. 1, respectively. It also has to pay WB's legal fees, amounting to $150,000. Ouch. But Harvey Weinstein & Co. are probably glad that's finally over and now people can start taking content-related notice of what looks to be a lovely movie ... instead of, ya know, judging a movie by its title wars.

So, kids, what have we learned from this whole shebang? First, Hollywood is a weird place. Second, come Aug. 16, remember that you are not — and we repeat, not — seeing "The Butler", okay? You must call it "Lee Daniels' The Butler" (complete with the 75-25 ratio) ... or else someone's gonna have to pay.