I’m trying to imagine some kind of professional acrimonious situation in which I would actually try to harm another journalist’s livelihood — his or her access to screenings or festivals, let’s say — or diminish his or her advertising revenue. I’m trying to imagine even considering this kind of ugly behavior, but I can’t. It’s not in me. I’ve never tried to interfere with a fellow journalist trying to find work or generate this or that form of income. I’ve never whispered in an editor’s ear, “Don’t hire this or that critic”…ever.
Are there a few journalist-critics whom I don’t personally like all that much? Sure, a few, but I’ve never tried to harm them professionally. Ever.
This is how I was in high school, actually. I would never put anyone down, or at least no one who hadn’t put me down first. I would never huddle with the weasels in my clique and sneer at some other kid because we didn’t like cut of his jeans. People do this in high school all the time, of course, and then they go on to do it in the workplace. People talking shit about others is a national pastime. Some people can be real vipers when they put their minds to it.
Have I ever acted in an ugly or unbecoming fashion? Yes, I’ve slipped a few times, and I sincerely apologize for this. But I’ve never tried to hurt a fellow journo in the pocketbook. Ever.
I’m mentioning this because a couple of critics tried to do this to me last weekend. They actually called or wrote this or that publicist or film festival or distributor and said, “Please help us snuff this guy out…we don’t like him and we want him dead.” They actually did this. Because they dislike me personally. Which, in and of itself, is fine with me. I don’t like them either, but that’s where it stays.
Worse, there’s one distributor whose ad director, based on my correspondence, may have actually said to one of these would-be assassins, “Sure thing, we hear you, we’ll join your cause.” Words fail.
Comment #1 from HE thread: “These people are irrational maniacs with no reasonable perspective on the world around them and live in a fantasy bubble of outrage.”
Comment #2: “A bunch of fucking babies are trying to get Wells’ credentials from festivals, Disney and ad buys taken away to make him irrelevant. I don’t mind them making fun of him because that’s pretty much what Wells does daily, but trying to end his career is fucking ridiculous, especially over the [redacted] tweet.”
Comment #3: “On the vast majority hand, it’s profoundly shitty to try to ruin a guy’s livelihood over a mean set of Twitter messages. What a weasel loser thing to do.”
Comment #4: “While I have been more critical of Wells the last year, specifically regarding Get Out, I loathe the notion of a bunch of whiny critics trying to get his credentials revoked. It’s just pathetic and the worst part of leftie culture. [This kind of thing] is what turns moderates into righties. Wells is not a politician, doesn’t make policy, doesn’t have any real studio or even indie power in regards to financing. He is an independent reviewer with a fan base who posts 5-7 times a day to survive. If people don’t want to visit anymore, that’s fine but to continually come after him after every minor transgression is fucking dumb, especially this [latest] nonsense.”
Comment #5: “The irony is that all these sanctimonious critics want to destroy Wells for his words and opinions, which is exactly how they make their living: Using their words and opinions to destroy or elevate movies. It’s not filmmakers, actors and creatives coming at Wells — it’s fellow critics who are salty as hell he has name recognition and doesn’t answer to an editor or a deadline. Fuck ’em all. Until Wells commits an actual crime or aligns himself with the ALT-Right and actual hate speech, he’s all right by me.”
Comment #6: “They just can’t stand having one critic who doesn’t fall lockstep in line with every one of the social views. He’s basically the Bill Maher of film criticism. An interesting read who doesn’t give a shit if he pisses off the sanctimonious far left and can acknowledge gender and human attraction in a mostly honest way. Sometimes he says some things that are obviously a little much and border of get-off-my-lawn schtick but mostly get it right or close to right in a 24-hour news cycle where content and clicks are king. It’s why the comment board here actually has conservatives as opposed to a far left echo chamber, back-patting each other for righteously calling out everyone who disagrees with them.”
Comment #7: The [complainers in this instance] look down, or up, their nose at guys like Wells, who writes in complete thoughts and uses fancy words and doesn’t love everything multiplex. I certainly do not always agree with Wells, but he has reasons for what he thinks, and he is right more often than wrong.”