Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company hired Stephanie Cutter, former presidential aide and deputy communications director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, to increase the profile of Oscar-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook, according to a report in New York Magazine.
Sources indicated to Vulture that Weinstein apparently enlisted Cutter to increase visibility for director David O. Russell’s film and to establish the film as one that culturally and politically resonated with viewers, including political figures. After the shootings in Newtown, Conn., a national conversation about mental health started to take form and Silver Linings Playbook expressed to viewers that it hoped to propel “progress towards removing the stigma of mental illness.”
Actor Bradley Cooper joined Senator Debbie Stabenow and former Congressman Patrick Kennedy early February at the Center of American Progress to discuss the film’s goals. The following week, both Cooper and David O. Russell met with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss efforts about mental-health reform. Russell joined msnbc’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and elaborated on the film’s significance.
“The beauty of the movie is that it has opened up the dialogue and removed the stigma,” he said.”It is this stigma that discourages preventative action and subsequently balloons into ‘a crisis.’”
While Cutter herself has not confirmed her involvement with the film’s Oscar campaign, a Weinstein Company spokesperson issued a statement published by Vulture indicating that the political consultant’s relationship with film company was an extension of the political relevance of the film:
“When it was clear that Silver Linings Playbook’s treatment of mental health issues was becoming a topic in the advocacy community and political circles, Harvey Weinstein sought the advice of a number of friends with experience in those areas, including former Senator Chris Dodd, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, and Stephanie Cutter, who he knows from his work as a supporter of President Obama.”
Cutter tweeted on Feb. 14,
We’re a little over a week away from Oscars. Check out the making of Silver Linings Playbook. Love this movie. bit.ly/OmxDTQ
— Stephanie Cutter (@stefcutter) February 14, 2013
A week later, she tweeted an article about the film.
Oscar week – who are you routing [sic] for?bit.ly/YJdNHp
— Stephanie Cutter (@stefcutter) February 21, 2013
In a web feature for ABC’s This Week, Cutter disclosed her favorite film. “We’re in Oscar season so I’m gonna talk about my favorite film this year. My favorite is actually Silver Linings Playbook. That it’s so real and identifiable to everybody in life.”