According to Ilta-Sanomat, Finnish streaming company Elisa Viihde has removed the documentary about former Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe from its service just days after the film was initially made available.
Mika Lepistö, Elisa Viihde’s director of partnerships, told Ilta-Sanomat that the documentary’s release date had been agreed upon with the production company, but Elisa Viihde decided to suspend its distribution “due to ambiguities between Michael Monroe and the production company.”
Saku-Petteri Perintö, the film’s director and CEO of the production company Love U Mean It, told Ilta-Sanomat: “The documentary was released for a few days before Monroe started to put pressure on the distribution company. The distribution has therefore been temporarily suspended.”
Perintö went on to say that the documentary was originally planned for release in 2017 before “extensive additional reshoots” were carried out at Monroe’s request.
The real reason for Monroe’s reaction, in our view, is therefore that he entered into an overlapping contract for a new documentary with another production company without our knowledge, and I would suggest that he has a problem with that, obviously for this reason he wants to make it difficult for this documentary to be released.Saku-Petteri Perintö, the film’s director and CEO of the production company Love U Mean It
Despite online rumors that the documentary had been released “illegally without Monroe’s permission,” Perintö stresses that he is perfectly within his legal right to make the film publicly available.
These allegations are completely absurd. We have been filming the documentary in collaboration with Monroe for about five years. We own the rights to the documentary and have distributed it under existing distribution agreements of which Monroe has been aware. It is therefore a perfectly legal document, which has been legally released.
It is a pity, because we hold Michael Monroe and his career in very high esteem,” he added. “The documentary is of a very high quality and has been very well received.Saku-Petteri Perintö
Lepistö told Ilta-Sanomat the ambiguities were unexpectedly revealed only after the documentary’s agreed-upon release date and it was removed from Elisa Viihde until the parties find a solution.
We had obtained the content and distribution rights to the documentary directly from the production company, as is normal practice. After the release of the documentary, Elisa was informed of the disagreement between the production company and Monroe.
There is an agreement between the production company and Monroe to which Elisa is not a party and we do not know the details. As the promotion of cultural content is important to Elisa, we thought it best to support the suspension of the documentary until Monroe and the production company have reached a solution.Mika Lepistö, Elisa Viihde’s director of partnerships
Michael touched upon the dispute with the documentary’s director in a December 2020 interview with the In The Trenches With Ryan Roxie podcast. At the time, the then-58-year-old singer stated about the film:
There was somebody who started making it some years ago, but it wasn’t working out with the person, so I’m now making it — someone else started making it, and they really know their business. So we started on it at the end of the summer [of 2020], and it’s gonna be a really good movie. But we’re gonna take our time with it. We’re aiming at releasing it in a couple of years when I turn 60 — in 2022.
It’s not gonna be a list of things I’ve done. It’s gonna be more like… There’s a movie about Diego Maradona, the football player, and [Ayrton] Senna, the [Brazilian] Formula [One racing] driver — they were great movies. And that’s the idea for this movie. It’s a great story, and you can only tell it once. The director has a great vision. We’re not gonna rush it. At the latest, [we’ll release it] in 2022. It could be a good celebration when I’m gonna turn 60.Michael Monroe