Wal-Mart Goes to Hollywood

Wal-Mart and Hollywood. Dogs and cats. Oil and water. Enough said, right? Apparently not. Variety.com posted news yesterday that Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the founders of Miramax films (which produced, among others, Fahrenheit 911) are throwing a party for the megaretailer's CEO Lee Scott. While Variety suggests that Scott's a good person for the Weinsteins to have on their side because they sell DVDs, the official reason for the "star-studded gala to honor... Scott" is his "commitment to environmental sustainability.":

The gala, to be held in the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center, will include a performance by the Eagles, organic food and a cast of media heavyweights, including Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan, music manager Irving Azoff, former Time Warner chief operating officer Bob Pittman and investor Steve Rattner.

That the Weinsteins would want to cozy up with Scott, who is responsible for 40% of U.S. DVD sales, is a no-brainer. The company took a controlling stake in distributor Genius Products in July and is looking to build a slate of straight-to-vid family films targeted right at the heart of Wal-Mart's demo.

Business aside, a Weinstein Co. spokesperson says the admiration is real. "We have long considered Lee Scott a great business partner for the entertainment industry as well as a great role model for those of us who care about the environment," the Weinsteins said in a statement.

For its part, Wal-Mart has embarked on a five-year effort to reduce packaging, an effort that sits well with eco-friendly bizzers like the Weinsteins.

We're certainly not in a position to judge the Weinsteins' motivations here, but Wal-Mart has released a steady string of announcements over the past year that have created cautious optimism among treehuggers. If Wal-Mart and Hollywood's enviros can find common ground, we've all likely got reason to celebrate... at least a little. ::Variety.com via linton at Hugg

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