Despite previous reports to the contrary, director Robert Rodriguez told BuzzFeed in a statement Thursday morning he doesn’t support a lawsuit that’s been filed against the Texas Film Commission on behalf of a production company that worked on his film Machete.
“I wanted to formally and unequivocally comment on the recent suit brought which references my film ‘Machete.’ This suit is erroneous and, in my opinion, completely without grounds. Despite what may have been incorrectly reported I am not a party to this suit nor do I support it in any way. I call the state of Texas home and have been appreciative of the local government’s support of me, my crew and my films. I will continue to support Texas, the local government, the film commission and the wonderful program they have put in place to support filmmakers and local films,” Rodriguez said.
The lawsuit in question was brought by a production company called Machete Chop Shop, Inc. — run by producer Rick Schwartz — which claims the Texas Film Commission denied previously agreed-upon financial incentives to Machete after Gov. Rick Perry faced pressure from anti-immigration groups who were upset by the movie’s trailer.
An earlier version of this article linked to a report in the Houston Chronicle that said Rodriguez was involved in the lawsuit, but the director says that’s not the case.
Similarly, Perry spokesperson Lucy Nashed told BuzzFeed Wednesday, “While we don’t discuss pending or anticipated litigation, and we have not been officially served, these two projects are completely separate and unrelated. At this time, it is my understanding that Robert Rodriguez and Troublemaker Studios are not involved in the lawsuit.
Rodriguez appeared in a commercial (shown above) as part of a $1 million campaign launched by Perry’s nonprofit TexasOne aimed at persuading companies in New York and Connecticut to uproot and move to Texas. Some New York democrats snickered at the awkwardness of Rodriguez and Perry appearing the ad together while the lawsuit is unfolding.
“It’s clear that Rick Perry is incapable of stepping out onto the national stage without thoroughly embarrassing himself,” said Democratic operative Eric Koch. “Instead of coming to New York and trying to poach businesses, Rick Perry should focus on spending the last of his 12 disastrous years in office fixing his failed, divisive and anti-woman agenda.”