Never underestimate the ability of a person possessed by demons to make reasonable people follow his/her lead and go temporarily mad or lose their composure. Especially if the possessed is an entertainment publicist. I’m not saying what you’re about to read happened last year or last month or a few days ago, but it did happen. At a big-deal premiere for a film. A minor mistake metastasized into Deep Ugly when a certain publicist poured kerosene on it and then threw a match. Brilliant.
The trouble started when I was given the wrong theatre ticket by the guy at the will-call table. I said my name clearly, twice, but I failed to put on my glasses so I could see the name on the envelope, which had my last name right but not the first. I should have put on my glasses and checked the name. My bad.
I went inside, said hi to a publicist friend and asked about snapping a big-name actor in the film at the after-party, and then went into the theatre I was directed to. Right away it felt wrong as my assigned seat was taken by someone else, and a young girl handling seating decided that I must be in the wrong theatre. Then another girl handling seating came to the same conclusion. Their vibe was a little accusatory — “you don’t feel right, you belong elsewhere, we’re going to figure this out.” I decided the best thing would be to stand in the back of the theatre and wait for a resolution.
Then a publicist with frosty blonde swept-back hair came in with a security goon and said a mistake had been made and then asked for the ticket back. I gave it to her — no problem. Everything would have been cool if she had said “sorry, we messed up, I think you were given the wrong ticket, let me have it and I’ll get you the right one.” But her vibe was icy, haughty, dismissive (“I don’t know you”). A mating of Evita Peron and Cruella De Ville.
She then asked for the two party tickets I was holding in a white envelope and I refused. “What does the party have to do with where I sit?,” I said. “I was invited by [publicist’s name], I’m here to help out the film,” etc. But I was ready to give them up anyway in the interests of peace and harmony as long as I had assurance. So I said to her, “Will you replace these two tickets?” and she said, “I’ll give you a party ticket.” No, I said — not “a” ticket but two tickets, as I’d arranged for a friend to join me later.
In response to this, this master of finesse and diplomacy shut down the conversation then and there and told the goons to throw me out of the theatre.
Two goons escorted me out to the lobby and told me I’d have to leave the premises. I said I’m not leaving because I was invited. I don’t mind saying that I was, at this point, livid. I was being treated like a crasher, a slumdog. It feels awful to be restrained by two big guys standing on either side of you, like you’re a prisoner on the way to a lock-up. It was the next thing to being handcuffed. I was saying to myself, “How dare they do this? I was invited, I’m here to see the movie and help out,” etc., and I’m being minded by two linebacker-sized apes.
Then the haughty publicist speedily walked by and I lunged over and grabbed her arm to get her attention and said, “Why are you doing this? What is wrong with you?” She turned and walked away.
Then a publicist friend finally came over and said I was cool and I was told to go into another, grubbier theatre, which I did. Then the haughty and dismissive publicist came in with two goons and had them escort me out of the theatre. “Again?” I said, doubly outraged, but this time I went.
On the way out I was told this was happening because I had “pushed” Ms. Haught. A willful fabrication from a professional liar. To push someone is a blatantly aggressive act, but I didn’t do this. I wanted Frosty’s attention so I grabbed her arm because (a) I didn’t know her name, (b) she wasn’t looking in my direction (i.e., was pointedly not allowing for eye contact so as to avoid conversation) so a gesture or a wave or a “hey, lady!” wouldn’t have worked, and (c) she had already demonstrated her refusal to talk to me and had actually directed security to have me thrown out of the theatre because I wouldn’t surrender the party tickets.
I should have lightly touched the fiendish publicist’s arm, at most. But I felt abused and mauled and violated, and I wanted justice.
The next day I wrote the haughty publicist and apologized for the arm-grab. I realize how it felt from her end, I wrote, but I’d been treated much, much more aggressively at her command. I was humiliated in front of others by being held against my will by a pair of big fat apes. On top of her order to have me thrown me out of the theatre because I wouldn’t surrender the party tickets — a party I was invited to by a publicist representing the film! But I should have sucked it in and chilled down. My bad.