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Concussions and NFL altering Film

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In dozens of studio emails unearthed by hackers, Sony executives; the director, Peter Landesman; and representatives of Mr. Smith discussed how to avoid antagonizing the N.F.L. by altering the script and marketing the film more as a whistle-blower story, rather than a condemnation of football or the league.

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?Will is not anti football (nor is the movie) and isn?t planning to be a spokesman for what football should be or shouldn?t be but rather is an actor taking on an exciting challenge,? Dwight Caines, the president of domestic marketing at Sony Pictures, wrote in an email on Aug. 6, 2014, to three top studio executives about how to position the movie. ?We?ll develop messaging with the help of N.F.L. consultant to ensure that we are telling a dramatic story and not kicking the hornet?s nest.?

(A Sony spokeswoman, who did not make Mr. Caines available for an interview, said late Tuesday, after this article was published, that the consultant cited in Mr. Caines?s email was not an N.F.L. employee, but was hired to deal with the N.F.L.)

Another email on Aug. 1, 2014, said some ?unflattering moments for the N.F.L.? were deleted or changed, while in another note on July 30, 2014, a top Sony lawyer is said to have taken "most of the bite" out of the film "for legal reasons with the N.F.L. and that it was not a balance issue." Other emails in September 2014 discuss an aborted effort to reach out to the N.F.L.

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The N.F.L. had previously pressured business partners to step back from issues that are potentially embarrassing to it.

My respect for the NFL continues to take more blows than its players. For many years, I looked forward to watching the Giants as each week...

trblmkr 2 hours ago

"“We don’t want to give the N.F.L. a toehold to say, ‘They are making it up,’ and damage the credibility of the movie,” Mr. Landesman said...

Beatrice 2 hours ago

Re: Bennet Omalu, MD, MBA, MPH, CPE, DABP-HP, CP, FP, NPWe all saw Bennet Omalu on Frontline in 2013, where he spoke the truth.It's too late...

SEE ALL COMMENTS WRITE A COMMENT

In 2013, N.F.L. officials complained to ESPN executives about a documentary, “League of Denial,” that the network had produced with “Frontline,” detailing the league’s response to the dangers of head trauma. ESPN stopped working on the project with “Frontline,” which later broadcast it.

In 2004, the N.F.L. complained to the chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, the parent company of ESPN, about a hard-hitting television series on the sports network that delivered an unsavory depiction of professional football players. The show ended after one season.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/sports/football/makers-of-sonys-concussion-film-tried-to-avoid-angering-nfl-emails-show.html?_r=0

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