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'The Butler' Battle: Teen Activist Defends Harvey Weinstein

The Butler Lee Daniels - H 2013
"The Butler"

Katy Butler launches an online petition calling for Warner Bros. to allow use of the disputed title on Lee Daniels' upcoming movie.

In its ongoing campaign to win the right to use the movie title The Butler from the MPAA’s Title Registration Bureau, the Weinstein Co. announced Tuesday that Katy Butler, a teen activist in Ann Arbor, Mich., has launched a petition aimed at Warner Bros. supporting the Weinstein Co.’s position.

"Claiming that this new movie will take away from the 1916 short and cause confusion for the audience is almost as ridiculous as saying my name, Katy Butler, will create confusion," Butler wrote in an introduction to the petition, which posted Tuesday morning on Change.org. "Warner Bros. needs to let people see The Butler with its original title. I just hope they don't make me change my last name after this petition gets out there!"

Butler has become TWC's go-to teen activist since she posted an earlier petition supporting the company when it unsuccessfully appealed an R rating given to the documentary Bully in 2012. TWC subsequently eliminated some of that movie’s F-words, and the MPAA’s ratings board reclassified it PG-13.

The Butler, which TWC continues to promote under the disputed title, stars Forest Whitaker and is directed by Lee Daniels. It is due to be released Aug. 13.

Butler’s full petition attracted just over 100 supporters in its first few hours.