Banned in Hollywood

Yesterday Fox 411‘s Roger Friedman said he’d been “banned” from seeing Bryan Singer‘s Valkyrie, and then Patrick “Big Picture” Goldstein had a discussion with Mike Vollman about the Friedman situation, during which Vollman said that the New York-based columnist “just wasn’t invited…screenings are a privilege, not a right, and [if Freidman had] indicated a desire to be open-minded and not telegraphed his intentions ahead of time, we would’ve acted differently.”

The interesting part comes when Goldstein writes that he doesn’t “like the idea of studios banning writers from screenings, since judging from the state of my frosty relations with a couple of studios right now, it’s quite possible that, ahem, I could be next.” I don’t believe that for a nano-second. Nobody would dare ban Goldstein because of the lingering (i.e., actually much diminished) don’t-tread-on-me factor stemming from his L.A. Times employment. On top of which he’s finally too much of a political chess player and not nearly enough of an emotionally free-swinging, Miles Davis-styled loose cannon to get banned by anyone. I know, having experienced a few temporary freeze-outs by some major distributors in my time.

Friedrich Nietzsche once said words that I’ve always lived by: “When in danger, always move forward.” If a studio bans you, my advice is to just go “okay, whatever” and focus your energies elsewhere. Keep your head down, keep moving. Most of the time the anger over the banning issue subsides and the studio reconsiders after three or four months. I’m proud to say that right now I am no one’s shit list right now.

  • Phatang!

    I’m not sure you should be PROUD that right now you are on no one’s shit list right now. Isn’t ruffling feathers a sign that you’re an independent thinker, unafraid of being frozen out for expressing your honest opinion? Isn’t it – possibly – a sign that you’ve fawned over far too many crappy-to-mediocre movies this awards season?

  • Josh Massey

    And now I’m about 50% more interested in seeing Valkyrie. Any slight of that hack-in-boots Roger Friedman is a heroic move in my eyes.

  • p.Vice

    You’ll always be on my shit list, Jeff.

  • Didn’t Nietzsche also say… and I’m paraphrasing here… when not invited to a screening of a Tom Cruise movie it is best to move on and send a thank you card.

  • Rich S.

    You’d think that Friedman’s jackbooted, brown-shirted overlords at Fox News would want him to see a movie where Hitler survived. Am I right? Am I right?

  • Friedman is a predictable Walter Winchell-wannabe, yet I still read him just to see how far up the rumps of Harvey, Rosie and Sting he is on any given day, as well as to cackle at the merciless yet comical grudges he holds against Cruise, Mel Gibson, Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Jann Wenner.

    He’s a hoot.

  • crsryan

    In my experience, there are only two studios that are really big on these kind of games and at least in the case of one of them, it comes down to a single publicist who takes herself way, way too seriously. The other studio actually had people call me past midnight once to complain about a negative take on one of their superhero movies.

  • The InSneider

    Ok, time to name names CRSRyan. I’d love to know who you’re talking about and which superhero movie. Feel free to email me.

  • byanyother

    Neither of these guys are “chess players,” give me a break. It isn’t a right at all to be able to see movies early, particularly with premature ejaculating loudmouths who want to be “first” to trash a movie. Yawn.

  • lawnorder

    Every studio movie is like a multi-million dollar corporation in its own right. When a film costs 50 mill or 100 mill or 300 mill, that’s a substantial investment tantamount to bringing a new model car or computer device (or new version of Coke) to market and why should the investors of such a product put up with unnecessary negative press before the actual release of said product. If Friedman wants to badmouth Valkyrie that’s his right – but then he needs to wait until its official release and pay for a ticket like everyone else – especially when he’s made it clear to all involved that he intends to be quite unforgiving of the film sight unseen. No one is entitled to take a peek under the designer’s tarp unless the designer feels confident that they are a supporter. I see deals made all the time between the studios and journalists for early peeks on a new film. The usual agreement is: if you don’t like the film you won’t write about it until the Friday of the official release – or at all. Sounds fair to me. There is such a bullshit sense of entitlement in this business that it makes me sick.

  • cityslicks

    [Deleted by editor.]


    The InSneider wrote:

    Ok, time to name names CRSRyan. I’d love to know who you’re talking about and which superhero movie. Feel free to email me.

    I’ll guess that Fox is the studio and the superhero movies must be one of these: X-MEN 3, DAREDEVIL or THE FANTASTIC FOUR duology.

  • Jenny4

    I didn’t realise studios still banned people – it’s like a story out of the 1950’s Cartier Mens watches

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