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David Poland

By David Poland

How Might Brokeback Fall Back?

Brokeback Mountain has gotten past two of the early hurdles. It has won a majority of the top critics awards so far and it is a sure bet to be seen by a very high percentage of Academy voters. But precursors can be curses too. The last time winning the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion turned out to be a precursor of an Oscar Best Picture nomination was 1980, when Atlantic City took the Golden Lion. No Venice winner has ever won Best Picture. But records are made to be broken. Only a few years ago, 61 home runs was an impossible goal.
Munich is also sure to be seen by a vast majority of the Academy members. But every other one of the contending pictures will continue to have to fight to be seen by most voters.
King Kong skews a little young, so the negative box office reportage will have an effect on how many of the generally-over-50 Academy members see the film.
Good Night, And Good Luck is likely to be seen mostly on DVD, though in that case, it is not much of a hindrance. The movie should play better on a small screen, though if it plays too well, people might write it off as too small.
Munich, on the other hand, will not be well served by first-time TV viewing. It is a movie that at-home distractions could well hurt. A second viewing at home is probably in its favor, however. An unusual challenge for Universal strategists.
One of the downsides for The Constant Gardener is its early release date. Many Academy members may have seen the film when it was first released in late August. And they will use the DVD as a reminder. But members seeing the visually complex film for the first and only time on DVD may not feel its full power.
Which brings us back to Brokeback Mountain, which starts as an upstream swimmer. No matter how much some people adore the film, it has the popularity boundaries of most Ang Lee movies. It is deliberate. It is languorous at times. The characters are not terribly verbal. It is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but the last visual feast to win Best Picture was The English Patient, a decade ago.
And like it or not, there is a significant percentage of Academy voters who really aren’t interested in a gay love story. But forget about “gay” for a moment. Once you get past Shakespeare in Love, which was driven more by being a show biz piece than a romance, and you have to go all the way back to Casablanca to find a Best Picture winner that centered on a great romance.

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38 Responses to “How Might Brokeback Fall Back?”

  1. right says:

    “the last visual feast to win Best Picture was The English Patient, a decade ago.”
    Umm… Return of the King? Gladiator? Titanic?
    “Once you get past Shakespeare in Love, which was driven more by being a show biz piece than a romance, and you have to go all the way back to Casablanca to find a Best Picture winner that centered on a great romance.”
    Umm… Shakespeare, Titanic, and English Patient, that’s three in a row! hard to get past all of those.

  2. Melquiades says:

    What exactly do you mean by “visual feast?”
    Since The English Patient, I’d say Titanic, Gladiator, Chicago and Lord of the Rings were all beautiful to look at.
    And great romance? Again, Titanic. Shakespeare in Love. West Side Story.

  3. qwiggles says:

    “Once you get past Shakespeare in Love, which was driven more by being a show biz piece than a romance, and you have to go all the way back to Casablanca to find a Best Picture winner that centered on a great romance…(Yes, Titanic was romantic

  4. Melquiades says:

    Great minds think alike…

  5. Cicero says:

    I think saying that no Best Picture winner since “Casablanca” has centered on a great romance isn’t quite accurate. If “Titanic” isn’t a romance, what is? “The English Patient” and “Out of Africa” are also pretty standard ‘great romances,’ and a sizable percentage of Best Picture winners have a romance as a major storyline.
    One could argue that “Titanic” was about the ship and “The English Patient” had multiple storylines and “Out of Africa” was really about a writer, but isn’t that splitting hairs a little too much? At their core, they were romances.
    You could just as easily say that “Casablanca” is a movie about the war, not a ‘great romance’ romance, or that “Brokeback Mountain” is really a western. Ultimately, if you play with definitions or statistics enough, they become meaningless.

  6. David Poland says:

    A. It’s not an argument, it’s a discussion.
    B. The example that really is valid in the conversation that I failed to include is Out Of Africa.
    C. Yes, being reductive is always problematic. But not neccessarily unfair. The hook, in my opinion, of The English Patient was the lushness of it. Titanic was a massive business story all year, broke new CG ground, and yes, had a central love story that made the film work for women… but it was also an action movie.
    D. Winning prizes certainly can weaken films come Oscar time. There are precursors that seem to be positive influences. I would argue that Venice – like the Indie Spirit Awards – makes a case for quality films that aren;t neccessarily going to be Oscar favorites.

  7. Hopscotch says:

    Titanic is really a surivor movie than romance. The last hour and a half is built around the pair trying to stay alive on a sinking ship.
    Out of Africa is really a fish out of water fable with Africa as the backdrop.
    And Shakespeare in Love is a romance, but the best part of it is putting on the play not whether those two end up together.
    You can argue that Casablanca is something else entirely, but the core story is Rick and Ilsa and how they move on. The core story of Brokeback is Jack and Ennis and how they struggle to not be with each other.
    i can see where Dave is coming from, that the movies have romantic elements, but the core likable factor came from other things. Isn’t Forrest Gump a romance? Isn’t Braveheart one? It just depends…

  8. ArchiveGuy says:

    Yeah, the whole “I didn’t expect to roll through more than 60 Oscar winners before finding a true romance” is pretty specious.
    What about “Titanic”? Oh, sorry, that was a romance and a PHENOMENON.
    What about “Shakespeare in Love”? Oh, well that was a romance filtered through ARTISTIC SENSIBILITY (ditto “An American in Paris”)
    What about “The English Patient”? Oh, well that was a romantic EPIC (ditto “Out of Africa”)
    What about “Annie Hall” Oh, well that was a romantic-COMEDY
    What about “My Fair Lady”? Oh, well that was a MUSCIAL romance (ditto “West Side Story”)
    What about “The Apartment”? Oh, well that was a romance filtered through SOCIAL COMMENTARY
    What about “Marty”? Oh, well that was a romance as KITCHEN SINK REALISM
    Well, I hate to break it to you, Dave, but there’s nothing “pure” about Casablanca’s romance. Time has allowed the romance to resonate, but 1943 voters will have seen it as much as a patriotic call for wartime engagement (especially with Roosevelt & Churchill meeting at the wartime summit in Casablanca when Oscar voting was taking place) as merely a love story.
    The fact is that quite a number of romantic films have won Best Picture, though none (including “Casablanca”) cleanly fell into a single genre. “Brokeback” isn’t any more a mere Love Story as any of the others, so the 60 year statistic (as is the Venice FF, which has typically closed competition) is totally meaningless.

  9. ArchiveGuy says:

    Whoops, I should amend my previous post in that the Casablanca summit (w/R&C) took place earlier in the year, but still had a historical timeliness that makes the romance in the film secondary to the patriotism (after all: Rick chooses country over love; as lush as “The English Patient” is, Love remains the predominant force in that movie)

  10. palmtree says:

    Okay, so what if this whole romantic question is moot? Last year Million Dollar Baby was credited as showing that people vote with their hearts and not their bowing down to pedigree. While I think LA Confidential is a masterpiece, Titanic won with its more direct strumming of heart strings. As a corollary, The Aviator was big and bombastic but wasn’t hanky worthy. Brokeback not only has a sad death, but a pretty intense sense of longing and regret that most people can identify with (the one that got away). Married to high quality and the evocative setting of Marlboro country, Brokeback is not a lame duck because of romance. In fact, is it not a phenomenon in its own right?

  11. right says:

    Brokeback is certainly not a phenomenon right now. It’s not even to the point that, say, Sideways was last year.
    Wait until it goes wide, and we’ll see if it’s a phenomenon. I’m skeptical, but it could happen.

  12. palmtree says:

    Agreed. I’ll wait. But the per screen averages are very encouraging. How many films have gotten into the B.O. top ten (in the highly competitive holiday season no less) based on 69 theaters?

  13. PandaBear says:

    So basically nothing is resolved yet and won’t be til the day they announce the winners? Which is good for all of us fans and speculation.

  14. Rufus Masters says:

    BBM isn’t an Oscar winner. It’s an Oscar nominee. It might be a Best Actor and Supporting Actress winner but not Best Picture.

  15. Angelus21 says:

    Let’s be real. If Academy members want to reward homosexuals and make a statement than they’ll vote Brokeback Mountain. Maybe they want to make a statement. And what other movie is that much better than it this year?

  16. Josh says:

    I would think Munich is a better statement than “gays can love and lose too”.

  17. lazarus says:

    Brokeback Mountain isn’t a “statement” about gays. It is simply a film about loss and regret, and a powerfully told one. It has similar themes to The English Patient, Million Dollar Baby, and several other films that have won big at the Oscars. I’ve now talked to many people who went into this film a bit suspicious and have found much to relate to, even though they aren’t homosexual. And even though I couldn’t relate personally to the gay aspect of the film, I was moved by it in other ways.
    I would think that after a certain point all these stats can be thrown out the window. Before Chicago you could say a musica; hasn’t won in over 30 years. Before Return Of The King you could say a sci-fi or fantasy film hasn’t won. For every film that seems to play right into what the Academy is known for liking (Million Dollar Baby, A Beautiful Mind), there’s another that surprises you (American Beauty, Silence of the Lambs).
    Brokeback winning Best Picture is far from an impossibility, and will wind up being less of a surprise as many people would like to believe.

  18. Wayman_Wong says:

    I agree with Lazarus; if ”Brokeback Mountain” wins, it’s not as much of a surprise as some folks would like to believe. It’s pretty clear where David Poland stands. He has ”critical issues” with the movie, and devotes 10 paragraphs questioning its Oscar chances in ”It Ain’t Broke … But You Still Better Fix It.” (”Munich,” which Poland predicts will win Best Picture, though, warrants only 2 paragraphs.)
    Poland opens: ”Brokeback Mountain is the most beloved quality film in America. Accolades are coming around ever corner. It’s not only good, it’s revolutionary! All of this is great … a dream. Unfortunately, when you wake up and look at the calendar, it’s Dec. 22, not March 6.”
    What’s the ”dream” part? It IS arguably the most beloved quality film. When I last looked at the Awards Scoreboard on this site, ”Brokeback” was leading with 23 wins and 11 nominations. And yes, as ”Brokeback” has expanded, accolades HAVE kept coming in from all over. In his Dec. 18 ”Sunday Estimates,” Poland didn’t even note ”Brokeback’s” remarkable $36,354 per screen average from 69 screens. Only in the followup comments, he allows: ”Not saying Brokeback isn’t doing great. But the Top Ten thing is a slight obsfucation.” James Leer asked ”What is the Top Ten record ‘obsfucating’? To me, it seems like a cold-hard fact.” To date, Poland has yet to explain the ”obsfucation.”
    But back to ”It Ain’t Broke”: Poland writes ”No one wants to be the frontrunner in the Oscar race until a week or two before the final voting is being done.” Sure, no one wants to peak too soon, but what film wouldn’t want to be receiving all the critics’ awards and doing the box office that ”Brokeback” is doing so far? It’s doing such good business that Focus is accelerating its platformed rollout, but evidently that’s doomed, too, says Poland. In a Reuters story, he predicts, ”I think ‘Brokeback’ will suffer when it goes into a wider viewing.”
    And when ”Brokeback” won the top L.A. & NY critics awards and led the Golden Globe and Broadcast Critics’ nominations, Poland dismissively said that giving all the awards to one film makes all those awards ”irrelevant.”
    I guess we can argue precursors and awards about ”Brokeback” till the cows (or sheep) come home, but what this film has accomplished is extraordinary, especially given its controversial storyline. Despite the many stats quoted in Poland’s latest piece, as he himself said on Dec. 17, ”Stats are for suckers. They tell the lies we want them to tell. And sometimes, they speak the truth.” I guess we’ll have to wait until Oscar Night to see just where the truth lies.

  19. Scooba Steve says:

    Phenomenon is a tricky word. For my money the last 3 best pictures to earn phenom status were Return of The King, Titanic and Forrest Gump. By the time they reached Oscar, they were bigger than it.

  20. Hopscotch says:

    Look at how well Sideways did last year. It looked like the clean front runner when you count early award nods and film critics lists. Giamatti didn’t even get a nomination. So I don’t think Brokeback is a safe bet, and neither is Munich. While Munich and Brokeback are drawing naysayers and supporters, maybe Walk the Line will swoop in and charm every body in the room. Or maybe GN&GL will have more support than we think, or maybe even Constant Gardener. It’s pretty open.

  21. palmtree says:

    The comparisons to Sideways are not totally apt. For one, Sideways was seen as a comedy, not a “serious” or “important” film. Secondly, it opened in October whereas Brokeback’s mid December opening puts it right with Million Dollar Baby’s strategy. If anything, Brokeback is doing better than Sideways’s numbers in its theatrical release. But again, we should wait for the wide release to see mainstream interest.

  22. waterbucket says:

    I agree with palmtree. As much as I love Sideways and how incredibly re-watchable it is, it was never regarded as a big or important movie. Brokeback Mountain has all the signs that the Academy want to recognize.
    It has the critics’ support so they won’t hear any complaint about it if they award it Best Picture. They don’t want to ignore it and have people write them off 20 years down the road as missing a golden opportunity to recognize a great gay romance at the right time.
    But the most important reason of all is that the movie is simply too good. I hope that everyone on this board will go see it before making up his/her mind to cheer against it.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    I agree that Poland seems to want to put the brakes on the BBM express every chance he gets. Whether that’s as a realistic corrective to the abundance of awards the film’s gotten so far, or simply because he doesn’t like it, remains up for debate.
    Also he takes any opportunity to tout Constant Gardener. I would like to ask if anyone out there can tell me specifically what was ‘visually complex’ about it? The cinematography was very good, but I don’t remember any particularly complex shots or compositions. Just a lot of handheld.

  24. iowabeef says:

    DP obviously doesn’t like Brokeback, he said it in the beginning and each column he writes since has backed that up…I mean…Munich still being at #1 on his lists without any precursors going for it at all sort of backs that up. Having seen both, there is no doubt in my mind that Brokeback is the more Oscar bound of the two, but I do sort of agree it’s bad to be the frontrunner this early…maybe something else will sneak in there…Match Point?

  25. Wayman_Wong says:

    Speaking of that ”Brokeback” expansion, here are some specifics, courtesy of Jack Foley, Focus’ president of distribution, says the expansion will be more aggressive than previously planned, with around 275 theaters set for Jan. 6 and about 400 for Jan. 13. The original intent was to be in 300 venues by the end of January.
    Foley noted two theaters in conservative markets that Focus used as an experiment for the picture’s crossover appeal: the AMC Yorktown 18 near Chicago and the Cinemark Legacy 24 in Plano, Texas – ”one of the biggest grossing theaters in the nation for ‘The Passion of the Christ.”’ ”Brokeback” ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the complexes, respectively. Foley says, ”[The movie] is playing to the smart set as well as the boomer set, the senior set and the gay community.”
    And in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Arizona Republic reported that ”Brokeback” set a record for weekend attendance at the local theater, selling about 8,000 tickets, beating the previous record-holder, ”Chicago,” by a wide margin.
    Clearly, it looks like ”Brokeback” is doing better than even Focus ever expected it might.

  26. eoguy says:

    I really think we need to emphasize the point that Brokeback Mountain really isn’t “the gay cowboy movie” like so much of the media has been emphasizing. Yes, they are gay and they are ranchers, but there’s a whole lot more to this movie and it can’t be written off in half a sentence.
    There are two amazing performances by the women in the film, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams, that resonate with the audience just as successfully as the male leads. There is so much truth and emotion in Brokeback that it’d be hard to find something NOT to relate to — whether you’re gay, straight or asexual.
    I know that Brokeback is set to be knocked down in wide release when critics think the numbers fall short (by then King Kong will have tire marks all over him, now they’ll need new roadkill). But I also think that there’s potential for this movie to find a mainstream audience. There are a lot of females going to this movie as a girl’s-night-out event.

  27. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    While it’s true that a lot of the time the early favourite doesn’t manage to get all the way to March, Focus – i’m sure – are probably all too happy to have their film awarded left right and centre.

  28. Wayman_Wong says:

    I agree, eoguy. Anyone who dismisses ”Brokeback Mountain” as just a ”gay cowboy movie” hasn’t seen it. Curiously enough, it might be that very tag that brings them in, but the reason why it’s breaking box-office records is that people – straight and gay – find out, much to their surprise, that it’s a love story and it’s about the price we’re willing to pay for dreams and desires that are deferred. ”Brokeback” isn’t just about two guys hooking up in a pup tent for the first time; in fact, that big scene lasts a little more than 30 seconds. It’s about the next 20 years of their lives and how they try to keep their love alive in the face of everything else.
    And yes, KamikazeCamelV2.0 is also right: The early favorite doesn’t always get all the way to the Oscars. But … would you rather be the current front-runner with all the raves and the L.A. & N.Y. critics’ awards and the lead in the Golden Globe & Broadcast Critics’ nominations? Or would you rather be one of the Oscar contenders in the pack that’s playing catchup? I can’t imagine any film that wouldn’t prefer the former.

  29. Filipe says:

    Well this is David twisting the stats so BBM, a fim we all know he doesn’t like looks weaker in the race.
    The last true early frontrunner (in the way BBM is noW) to lose was Saving Private Ryan.
    99: American Beauty early front runner by this point.
    00: No clearly front runner through the whole awards season.
    01: A Beautiful Mind the early front runner ended winning even tough David is right that this early status made it suffer a lot late in the game. Still, it never lost it’s favorite status.
    02: Early frontrunner Chicago went to win. Yes, everyone agrees that it looked like The Pianistwould win had the season being a couple of weeks longer, but Chicago was still the winner.
    03: Early frontrunner Return of the King won the easiest oscar race in ages.
    04: No clear frontrunner. The Aviator never come close to the early status of all those winners.
    As for Venice, with the exeception of Michael Collins there were no golden lion winner since Atlantic City that was truly an oscar chaser, the close to that was last year’s Vera Frake which everyone agrees did as well as it could hope. Unless david wants to make a case Fireworks, The Way We Laughed, Not One Less, The Circle, Mansoon Wedding, The Magdelene sisters and The Return as true oscar hopefuls. I’d never count BBM win here as a true precursor, but it seems ever worse trying to use it against its oscar chances.
    The romance aspect seems to be cover already.
    I don’t think is right for people to already give the award to Brokeback, but it does like as the probable winner and the real argument is that all the other hopefuls look weak (I have Munich as a nominee but is it truly a lock by this point?). If David had argued that it was one race till the nominations and another after (and so the momentum that Munich lost would be meaningless as long as it get among the 5), I’d say he has an argument, but this was pretty much him spining stuff against Brokeback.

  30. RP says:

    Not sure if anyone’s discussed this and it might not matter, but has anyone seen Nathan Lane’s recent TV appearances on behalf of THE PRODUCERS? I happened upon his TODAY show appearance earlier this week or late last week, and LETTERMAN on Wednesday. On both, he went out of his way to make fun of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.
    On the TODAY show he joked about the “I wish I knew how to quit you” line in the trailer, repeating the line to Katie Couric several times and generally taking over the interview in Robin Williams or Jim Carrey fashion (albeit much more subdued).
    On LETTERMAN, he mocked KONG and a few other movies in addition to BROKEBACK, before then launching into a full-on musical number with four other actors playing gay cowboys satirizing BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, complete with unseen coupling in a tent, etc.
    Has anyone heard if FOCUS is either (1) thrilled with the attention because it signals the movie has broken through as a cultural discussion point? or (2) furious that an actor from a rival studio’s wannabe-Oscar-campaigning movie is out lampooning their film on national television? I have no dog in the fight but thought it was interesting.

  31. palmtree says:

    Now that the Producers seems out of the running, I don’t think Focus is breaking a sweat. I’d go with 1, thrilled to get any “mainstream” attention it can get.

  32. Wayman_Wong says:

    I think Palmtree’s right. Free PR is free PR. I hear that Jay Leno just did a piece with both ”March of the Penguins” and ”Brokeback Mountain.” Leno showed scenes of penguins and played dialogue from ”Brokeback” underneath.
    Lloyd Grove in the N.Y. Daily News the other day spoke to publicist Simon Halls, who represents Nathan Lane AND Ang Lee, and he insisted that all media attention is good media attention: ”This is a little independent film, so any chance to be talked about on national television is a great thing.” As for Lane’s gibes at Lee’s film, Halls says, ”Ang gets a kick out of this kind of humor.”

  33. Cadavra says:

    Well, first of all, Focus is a division of Universal, so they’re not really rival studios. But more importantly, Lane isn’t attacking BROKEBACK, he’s just having fun with it–and as an openly gay actor, he has more right than most. It comes with the territory, and Lee is smart enough to know that reacting negatively would show you have no sense of humor.

  34. palmtree says:

    They may be under the same distribution company, but that doesn’t mean Focus doesn’t want an Oscar of its own. Box office is a separate issue from awards campaigning, in which attacking another film is seen as an unfair practice. And besides Focus really deserves an Oscar for all its great work through the years.

  35. David Poland says:

    Gee, I guess I need to drop Brokeback from #2 to #17, given how much everyone thinks I want to kill it.
    The reason the column wasn’t about Munich falling back is because Munich isn’t the frontrunner right now.
    And the point I keep emphasizing is “slow down.” Brokeback is no cakewalk. Munich is not dead. And a third movie creeping in is very possible.
    Perhaps I have been overreacting to the fait accompli attitude in much of the media. But BBM has been Top Three on my charts for the last six weeks already. A lot of movies would like that form of abuse.
    The biggest problem I have had with Brokeback is the lack of perspective on the realities of The Academy vs the urban public. There is nothing wrong with the audiences not matching 100% or even 75%. But don’t say it out loud or you will be attacked. And if you think that kind of “must agree” stuff gets my back up, try talking to Academy members.
    Anyone from Chicago would know that The AMC Yorktown services the University of Illinois and UofC southsiders who have no decent theater in Hyde Park. There are only two better locations for BBM in all of the Chicagoland area. Again… a good run. But Wayman seems to be buying anything positive and a bit enraged by anything less than such.

  36. David Poland says:

    P.S. Yuo should also realize that I didn’t put this on the blog becasue I expected agreement. I am more than willing to take the heat and to give you a forum to point out what I got wrong.
    This doesn’t make me a saint or any more right. But I think it is fair for me to argue that I am willing to air both sides and not just my own.

  37. James Leer says:

    “Munich” isn’t the frontrunner right now? I mean, I agree (though it certainly could become that at some point), but you’ve never listed it as anything but the frontrunner on your personal prognostications. Is it dropping down in the next installment?

  38. David Poland says:

    The charts have always had their own odd logic. Your question is kind of like, “Why put up movies that haven’t opened?”
    I think that Munich will move forward. Up until a week ago, it really didn’t exist outside of media opinion. I may feel differently on Wed night. I might not. Right now, I am kinda leaning to the idea of a third movie emerging, though I have no idea which one it might be. This week is one of those where we all have too much information and not enough perspective, really.
    But as often as I say that, no one really seems to believe I think it.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon