The wolves are circling and the hyenas are hee-hee-ing over yesterday’s Vanity Fair story, penned by Charlotte Klein, about THR columnist and executive awards editor Scott Feinberg allegedly asking for me-first screening access as far as hot film festival titles are concerned.

Let every Oscar pundit and chatterbox know, whether it wishes Feinberg well or ill, that the headline of Klein’s article is flat-out erroneous, and that the jackals looking to lick Feinberg’s blood are also dead wrong.

In an email to studios and strategists last week, Feinberg did not request “priority” access (as in “me before everyone else!”) to early-bird screenings. He asked for concurrent access along with the other swells. Not “me first!…me! me! me!” but “please allow me to see hot-buzz festival films at the same time as the elite trade critics and long-lead journos and editors.”

Feinberg didn’t say the following but he could have also put it this way: “Please don’t favor these guys and gals over me…the people who are routinely shown the hot-ticket films early and who have filed their reviews before the big premieres in Cannes or Telluride and Toronto…please let me into this elite fraternity…don’t give them preferential treatment over me as every second counts during film festivals, and it’s not fair to let a tiny handful of hotshot critics have the first crack while I have to scramble and hyperventilate and file reactions on the fly.”

Again — the implication of Klein reporting that Feinberg “requested priority access to the hottest movies coming this year” is an obscuring of the truth. Asking for priority access doesn’t mean exclusive priority access. In some people’s minds the word suggests “me first” but that’s not what Feinberg wrote or meant.

Feinberg: “As you plan the rollout of your film(s), I would like to respectfully ask that you not show films to any of my fellow awards pundits before you show them to me, even if that person represents himself or herself to you as (a) a potential reviewer of it, (b) needing to see the film in order to be part of decisions about covers, or (c) really anything else.”

As for the portion of Feinberg’s email that implied a certain degree of THR pushback if publicists fail to consent to his request…well, that’s not what any experienced industry vet would call a capital crime. There isn’t a power player in Hollywood who hasn’t said at one time or another “do not fuck with me because if you do…well, actions have consequences.” I’m sorry but this falls under the heading of standard negotiating postures.

A publicity source confides that Feinberg has already sent a clarifying letter to the recipients of his original email, but if I were in his shoes I would plainly state that (a) the word “concurrent” was and is key to the original import, and (b) that he shouldn’t have implied any sort of quid pro quo retaliation if publicists failed to consent to his request.

We all make tactical or phrasing errors from time to time. Feinberg wasn’t wrong in the first place, but just to cover the bases I would apologize for the sabre-rattling and for temporarily overplaying his hand. Not a huge deal. This is merely a Twitter/X flurry.

I would also bicker with Erik Anderson’s claim about Feinberg having posted “misogynistic” tweets about Letitia Wright last November, which was more bullshit. Feinberg simply stated that Wright, who didn’t have a prayer of landing any kind of acting nomination for Wakanda Forever, had baggage due to allegedly promoting anti-vax messaging. Which she did.

Statement of values: There are few things more disgusting than Twitter/X predators ganging up on this or that person who has allegedly said or written or tweeted the wrong thing. You can hear the snarls and see the saliva-coated sabre teeth and feel the hot breath of pathetic pisshounds…”the genius of the crowd,” as Charles Bukowksi once wrote. I have never taken part in a mass pile-on, and if I have I’ve forgotten about it. Wokesters are great at this stuff, and I am completely proud to spit in their faces for this behavior.