While I doubt this has the potential to become Christian Bale screaming OOOH GOOOD FER YOUUUU or David O. Russell calling Lily Tomlin a c*nt, it is still an on-set argument, and as an immature film blogger, I’m doody-bound to cover it. The principals this time were Precious director Lee Daniels and producer Avi Lerner, who, in addition to producing The Expendables, Drive Angry, and the Conan remake, was exec producer on the the dog-playing-piano classic, Cool Dog, named the best movie of all time by Facts magazine. The two were on the set of their new movie The Paperboy, starring Zack Efron and Nicole Kidman, and while the details of the argument are still sketchy, it appears Daniels accused Lerner of being racist against scuba divers.
It’s hard to hear the entire argument, but at one point Avi says to Lee, “You call him a racist. You know you’re racist too. You always pay attention to that.”
It appears Avi threatened to fire Lee, saying, “I don’t want you to leave, but if you don’t apologize to me and you know you should ….” and then the audio is impossible to understand.
And it seems much of the argument involves money. At the end, Lee taunts Avi, saying, “Need some money, need some money?” Avi says, “We paid the scuba divers a lot. Shame on you.” It appears from the conversation … the movie is way over the paltry $15 million budget. [TMZ]
One of my favorite things is walking by a couple having a huge argument and having to piece together what it was all about based on one or two out-of-context quotes. If I had walked by this one and all I heard was “We paid the scuba divers a lot. Shame on you,” I think my head would’ve exploded from the possibilities.
How could Avi Lerner be racist when he made a beautiful work of art like Cool Dog? It’d be like finding out Hitler painted the Mona Lisa.