The writer of a book about Miramax founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein has sent the New York Post a 1996 recording of a telephone conversation between Harvey Weinstein, whose company had been acquired by Disney, and Joe Roth, then president of Walt Disney Studios. In it, the two jokingly discuss the decision by the Walt Disney Co. to pay Michael Ovitz $140 million to leave the company. Part of the conversation appears in the Post 's "Page Six" column: "Please fire me," Weinstein quips. "I'll split whatever I get. ... If you don't fire me, then I think we should make bad movies next year. Let's make a series of [bleep]y movies." Roth replies: "I obviously made a mistake. I made good movies." Harvey says, "Joe, you are a success, so therefore you are a failure in this town." The two then name several top producers who won huge golden parachutes. "Everybody got wealthy on failure," Weinstein says. Roth replies: "You know what the problem is with you and me? We care about the movies." Weinstein laughs: "We have character flaws that must be overcome."

03/07/2008