This won’t matter much to Average Joes, but publicist Bumble Ward, whom I consider to be a great human being and a compassionate soul with palpable emotions and an engaging personality, has been zotzed at 20th Century Fox, and it just seems a shame. She was hired roughly a year ago as executive vp of publicity for film marketing, and had been a pleasure to work with all along.

There are certain kinds of people who survive if not flourish in a somewhat frosty, edgy, high-stakes corporate environment like Fox’s and others who seem better suited to Fox Searchlight and the indie-flavored p.r. realm, and Bumble, I suppose, is one of these.

The instant I heard the news I thought to myself, “Is this partly because of the handling of Life of Pi? Did the fact that I was allowed to see it out here concurrent with the N.Y. Film Festival debut and then I wrote a review in which I didn’t exactly go hog-wild…was this a factor to some degree?”

If so I feel guilty as hell. I’ve been told that there was friction about who got into that screening and who didn’t, and that this may have been one of the factors…who knows? I’ve also been told that my guilt is either misplaced or not worth wallowing in, but I feel badly all the same.

Best of luck to Bumble and to Life of Pi, a film that I respect and admire.