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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fox Critic Gets the Axe for Reviewing Pirated 'X-Men' Movie

Fox News fired online columnist Roger Friedman this week. His sin? Reviewing a pirated, partially-finished version of Fox's forthcoming 'X Men Origins: Wolverine.'

I have to say, I respect the impulse to do something journalistically innovative and review a partially-finished movie pulled down from a file-sharing site. What could be more contemporary? But I also feel like movie criticism involves reviewing movies when they're done... and also not encouraging readers to do things that chisel away at the economic model of actually making movies.

Some great analysis on this from Michael Wolff.

(Would Fox News have done the same if Friedman had reviewed the pirated version of another studio's film? I'm not so certain...)

Your take?

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  • I think firing him for that was a moronic decision. Online file sharing is a fact of life and no amount of stiffupperlipping is going to change that. It's hypocritical to ignore the fact that A LOT of people downloaded and watched the move. The guy was in fact converging the two universes and got the boot for it.

    By Blogger bogorad, at 9:14 AM  

  • While I understand Fox's knee-jerk reaction to cover all this mess up, find the culprits and hang them from the tree in the town square for all to see and learn from...

    The facts are:

    1) Fox got handed lemons and instead of making lemonade like any entrepreneurial company would do, they sat around crying,"We have lemons!" while the fruit rotted on the ground.

    2) Despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth - they have yet to demonstrate in a scientific, calculated, accepted method that they have indeed been 'damaged.' The reviews across the board have been nearly 90% positive. With everyone acknowledging this is a work print and that there's lots more to come.

    Try getting that consensus in a focus group or a circle of critics a month out from release.

    Now is the time for the Fox publicity machine to QUIT doing damage CONTROL and start putting the sugar on the lemons. Every story out of the Fox publicity bunker should be:

    "You liked that? Great! Wait until you see the finished version on May 1st at the theater. It will blow your spleen out!"

    Rothman should be out there with his trademark great sense of humor, pointing the finger at the pirates and saying, "You guys aren't going to spoil our fun. Thanks for confirming what we already knew - WOLVERINE is a kick ass movie."

    By Blogger Cunningham, at 12:22 PM  

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