The NFL’s decision to scrap an NFL Network interview promoting the movie Silver Linings Playbook has baffled the film’s executive producer, who says that multiple NFL owners have seen and enjoyed the movie.
The league office decided that NFL Network could not air an interview with Bradley Cooper, who stars in the film, because the movie includes scenes depicting gambling on NFL games. Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein says he was shocked by that decision in part because multiple owners of NFL teams have attended screenings of the movie, and all of them came away loving it. Weinstein also suspects that whatever NFL executive made the decision not to air the interview probably hasn’t seen the movie.
“The NFL is saying this movie is about gambling? They better see the movie,” Weinstein said in an interview with Reuters. “I showed the movie to Woody Johnson, who owns the New York Jets. He loved it. And I showed it to [Giants co-owner] Steve Tisch and he loved it. We showed it to the Philadelphia Eagles ownership and guys and they loved it. So this is ridiculous. I’m pretty sure [Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones saw it too and he liked it. So I don’t get this.”
Although the NFL has a legitimate interest in keeping its teams, coaches, players and officials far away from anything having to do with gambling on games, the league comes across looking silly when it won’t even allow an actor to be interviewed on its network if that actor has appeared in a movie in which a character bets on a game. This incident makes the NFL look small.