While Leonardo DiCaprio is in Italy meeting with Pope Francis over his concerns with climate change, his legal team is ensuring that a little indie film he made not long after the release of Titanic never sees the light of day. The movie, Don’s Plum, was produced in the late 90s and Leonardo, in conjunction with another one of the film’s stars, Tobey Maguire, have worked relentlessly to ensure American audiences are never able to see the film. Don’s Plum was recently available on Vimeo, but even that offering has been pulled, replaced with a copyright infringement notice that specifically mentions the two actors.
Don’s Plum Producer Dale Wheatley Responds to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Efforts To Keep Anyone From Viewing The Film
In making Don’s Plum, DiCaprio claims that the agreement was that American and Canadian audiences would not be able to view the film, which is the actor’s reasoning for continuously blocking attempts to distribute the film here in North America. While both Leonardo and Maguire contend that the agreement was made in a group setting, the producers of Don’s Plum deny any such arrangement existed. Supported by his own copyright privileges, Wheatley has made efforts to expose the film to audiences, his latest attempt was through the online streaming service provided by Vimeo.
Don’s Plum has been available on Vimeo since December, but it seems either DiCaprio or Maguire has had people searching for it, probably lawyers or investigators, because the film has already been removed from the website. Upon learning of the actions of the two actors, Wheatley has provided the exact Vimeo takedown notice:
“We have removed your video titled Don’s Plum, previously available at Vimeo, in a response to a takedown notice submitted by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA.”)”
Dale has taken this as a personal affront to his own professional endeavors and posted a message of his own on his website, freedonsplum.com, which details the filmmaker’s pain at having his work censored by the actors he has worked with in good faith.
“It breaks my heart to inform you that Leonardo DiCaprio has once again blocked only American and Canadian audiences from enjoying Don’s Plum. It’s a sad commentary that in 2016 we witness the suppression of film and art by one of America’s most beloved actors,” writes Wheatley on his website. “If only Leonardo DiCaprio would follow in the footsteps of the director who he admires and works with more than any other, Martin Scorsese, and preserve American cinema rather than suppress it.”
American And Canadian Audiences Can Still See Don’s Plum
While Tobey and Leonardo are certainly adamant that we not be able to watch Don’s Plum, Dale Wheatley is just as determined to make it available to audiences worldwide. One can hardly blame the producers of the film for wanting to distribute the movie, after having put forth so much dedication and work into the project. Wheatley says he’ll continue to fight to have Don’s Plum again made available via Vimeo, but, in the meantime, he offers to personally provide interested fans with the link and password to view the movie online.
Interested fans should email Dale at the address provided on the front page of his website.
“I’m obviously going to appeal Vimeo’s decision to overlook my fair use copyright as an author of the material, and I’ll always continue to fight to free Don’s Plum, and I’ll always fight to restore the dignity and reputation of the filmmakers who made it.”
Neither Tobey Maguire nor Leonardo DiCaprio have publicly commented on the film.
[Featured image by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images]