The heat's off "Fahrenheit 9/11" filmmaker Michael Moore ... for now.
On Wednesday (Dec. 20), a U.S. federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a national guardsman who claims he never gave permission for his image to be used in the incendiary documentary, reports Reuters.
Sgt. Peter Damon had originally sued Moore for $35 million claiming that his footage was used out of context to portray him as anti-war, when in fact he supports the Bush administration's war policies. Miramax Films, NBC and Lions Gate Entertainment were also named in the suit for cause his "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation."
The lawsuit, filed in Massachusetts Suffolk Superior Court, says that the filmmaker didn't get permission to use the clip of an interview the 33-year-old guardsman had given to an NBC Nightly News correspondent at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.
In the film, U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D) states, "You know, [those in the Bush administration] say they're not leaving any veterans behind, but they're leaving all kinds of veterans behind."
Moore follows this statement with footage of Damon, a double amputee who lost his arms in Iraq, on a gurney covered in bandages. He says he feels as if he's "being crushed in a vise," adding, "but [the painkillers] do a lot to help it. And they take a lot of the edge off of it."
In his original interview, Damon was actually responding to a question about the new painkiller the military was using with war veterans, but he claims that the documentary juxtaposition of the clip implied that the Bush administration had left him dealing with pain and drug addiction.
"Fahrenheit" criticized the Bush administration, mainly its response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq. It's the first documentary to pass the $100 million mark at the box office, earning $119.1 million domestically and more than $220 million worldwide. It also broke the DVD rental record for documentaries in its first week out.
Moore's latest endeavor, "Sicko," an examination of the American healthcare system, is scheduled for release in June 2007.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun