20 Weeks To Oscar: Rush To Poor Judgment?

What is The Academy trying to do by shortening the nomination season by 10 days this year?

When I spoke to Ric Robertson about it late this afternoon, his only real argument for the shift was that by announcing the nominations 2 weeks earlier, it would make it easier for members to see the already nominated films and performances, as there will now be six weeks from nominations to the final voting.

DP: Doesn’t this put an addition emphasis on screeners over screenings?
RR: “There already seems to be a lot of emphasis on screeners.”

DP: Is this move, as some have speculated, a way of reigning in the wild west of Phase One (pre-nominations) last year?
RR: “That was not a part of our consideration.”

DP: So you found a way (electronic voting) to speed up voting, but you’ve made the time to see movies for which to vote weeks shorter.
RR: “Yes.”

DP: The only positive thing I can see in this is that it is a warm-up for moving the actual show much earlier next year.
RR: “Thank you for trying to find one good thing to think about this. I try not to speculate on what may happen in 2014. There has not been any discussion to move the show earlier in 2014. That wasn’t a factor in the decision.”

DP: By announcing this now, The Academy kind of left the studios that scheduled movies in December flat-footed.
RR: “There are only about a dozen movies being released after (Dec 17) and we expect that they will be screened earlier and be available to members.”

RR: “We think it will work.”

I do not. I think it is the dumbing down of The Academy and a continuation of a slow disintegration of standards that is the only thing that keep The Academy Awards from being The People’s Choice Awards.

It may not seem like much, but this is a massive change for the movies and the people who work on them. Essentially, The Academy brain trust has hamstrung the idea of screenings as a primary way of reaching Academy voters for any of the December movies, shifting the emphasis even more intensely onto screeners watched over the holiday break.

Publicists have been SCREAMING for years that a shorter Oscar season means it will be harder to get voters to see movies. So The Academy cooled its heels on that idea. But at the same time, it has shortened the Academy season in the most severe way imaginable. The season, for all but about 18 movies (not counting the docs and shorts) completely ends on January 3.

But January 3 is not really the key date. Go back to December 21, 10 days before the end of the year. That’s when Academy members will start leaving Los Angeles and New York and London in droves for the holidays (Christmas Day is on the following Tuesday.)

But you can go even further back in this bizarro scheduling choice. Academy voting actually begins, ahem, on December 17. And it’s not just ballots going in the mail this year. With new online voting, Academy members can actually register their nominating votes on December 17.

Last year, they mailed ballots out on December 26. This was not intended to induce voting on Dec 27, but to get ballots there by January 1, allowing all the movies that are qualifying to open and for members to use the holiday to catch up on as many movies as possible. This year, you will be able to vote before many of the contending movies are even released.

Now, The Academy is not the biggest offender here. The Screen Actors Guild is CLOSING their voting on Dec 10, the same date that HFPA closes for The Golden Globes. At least HFPA gives you until Dec 5 to show your movie. SAG sends out nominating ballots on November 21. That’s even sillier than the NYFCC idiocy of picking nominees on November 29 last year.

But back to The Academy, which is still the only award that really matters…

What’s the rush?

They’ve cut weeks out of the nominating process and left the old show sitting at the same old dock, at the end of February. There is now a 6-week lag time between nominations and the awards. All the other awards shows that AMPAS seems anxious to get out before will be handing out trophies in full bloom for weeks… and weeks… and weeks… before everyone is supposed to get excited about the same people who have already taken home multiple awards in multiple gowns over a 6-week period finally get The Big One.

And it is more important and it is more exciting… but not only does it remain the very best steak on earth that you’re being asked to consume after eating three pretty good steaks a day for over a month, but by undermining the membership’s ability to watch all the contending films at all, and especially on a theatrical screen, it undermines the entire film industry and the legitimacy of the award itself. It’s not about the movies. It’s about some weird game being played at The Academy to make change after change for no apparent reason with no apparent positive outcome.

Yes, as Ric Robertson and freelance Academy employee Pete Hammond (he writes the Honorary show for them in addition to working for Deadline and other gigs) notes, this does expand the post-nomination viewing period for voters by a couple of weeks. This means, they now can see 8 or 9 BP movies and another 6 or 7 movies with nods in other categories they care about, over a 6-week period. They no longer have to worry about the 30 or 40 other movies that couldn’t find enough eyeballs before Dec 21 and might have been nominated had only enough members had an opportunity to see the work.

Great. More films with big awards marketing budgets and the top consultants and you smaller underdogs can just go screw yourselves now.

This makes me and those like me a lot more powerful. It also makes scumbag bottom-feeders like Carlos de Abreu more powerful because it makes a presence in October infinitely more important. Everyone who separates wheat from chaff, no matter how poorly or with what ulterior motives—or even with the best of skill and motive—is now in an enhanced position.

I wonder whether Pete Hammond, who was one of the great proponents of the nomination of Demián Bichir last year would be bothered if he realized that Demián’s remarkable underdog nomination, driven by his personal charisma and hard work as much as it was by his excellent performance, would be much less likely to happen under this new timetable. Not only does Demián do fewer screenings and meet fewer people, but the crunch for bigger names doing screenings in late November and early December (imagine Brad Pitt’s late push for Moneyball moved up 6 weeks) would make it a lot harder to get voters to show up for Demián’s screenings.

Keep in mind… all those groups that have used The Academy Awards as a springboard to build their own franchises in December and January, with the exception of SAG, are much, much smaller than the near-6000 member Academy. So getting 350 members of BFCA or 85 members of HFPA or 40 critics from one of the critics groups in to see a movie or to watch a screener is quite a different thing than enticing enough of the 5800 or so Academy members to get 600+ votes to get a nomination. Even the SAG Nominating Committee, of about 2200 actors, offers a lesser and more focused challenge.

I thought really hard, looking for a single positive thing about January 3 becoming the end of Oscar voting. I couldn’t think of one. The more I thought, the worse the idea seemed. So then I started calling around… and no one else could come up with a good rationale for the choice by The Academy, much less a positive thing to say about it.

The one thing that people came up with was that The Academy was trying to cut down on the December shenanigans of last year’s Phase One by shortening the window. The rules are much more strict in Phase 2 (post-nominations). But wait… how did we get the shenanigans of last year?

Yes! They were created by The Academy’s new leadership, which opened up the rules and allowed all kinds of member solicitation that had been considered against the rules… until last year. And even when some clearly went beyond last year’s lax rules as they were laid out by the new administration, The Academy chose to look the other way, especially when media outlets were breaking those rules by disguising sponsored marketing events without any screenings by serving a meal at said events.

But recall the top of this piece… The Academy, via Ric Robertson, says this was not an issue. So expect the same shenanigans writ even larger.

Things were a mess last season. And now, this season is on the way to being a bigger mess. And so far, 100% self-inflicted.

The gold standard—a group of industry professionals the vast majority of whom are not in the business of seeing 125+ movies a year—is now voting for the best of the year two weeks before the end of the year. These pros are forced into an even greater reliance on screeners before nominations because they can only see so many movies on the big screen and the opportunity to see films in late December and early January has been compromised severely. And The Academy, which assumes that there won’t be many problems with their membership voting online, is introducing new technology while shortening the window in which it might be used and/or worked around in the case of people having trouble using it. (I guess it’s easier than setting the time on a VCR.)

The personal irony for me is intense. I believe in online voting. I believe firmly that an early Oscar show will improve ratings and status and online voting makes that more possible. But it is hard to imagine a worse way of implementing this new system. It is hard to think of something sadder than The Academy now joining the ranks of awards-givers who have disregarded the calendar for expedience… the mortal enemy of thoughtful consideration.

But mostly, I worry for the movies. Especially the really good movies. The complex movies. The indie movies. The movies that need more than a second to sink in. I love the 10 nominations thing—something else they f-ed up last year for no apparent good reason except being able to say they did—because it celebrates films that are not as easy or obvious or well-funded. Cynics expected big action blockbusters to get nominated. But it was Malick and Winter’s Bone and A Serious Man and great animation like UP that got worldwide recognition.

That is less likely today. And that is sad. And still the big question… WHY?

I appreciate that Ric Robertson represents a big organization and that some people in that organization are afraid to take public responsibility for the choices they push and inflict on the membership and industry. But I cannot agree that giving members six full weeks to see what probably comes down to fewer than 10 films (as they will have seen some of the titles before nominations, obviously) at the cost of opportunity for dozens of titles is a remotely reasonable decision. No. I hope to God he’s lying and that there is some secret endgame. Because if there isn’t…

I don’t want to think any more about it today.


OSCAR: Animated Shorts

The five films competing for Best Animated Short – which you can now see in markets all over the country c/o Shorts International – are quite remarkable this year.

For my personal tastes, creating a hierarchy wasn’t hard. But the four films really speak to five different kind of animation sensibilities.

I was blown away by Day & Night the first time I saw it, on screen, before Toy Story 3. I have liked all the Pixar shorts. They are really worth buying on DVD/Blu. But this one was one of my favorites ever. Teddy Newton & Co simply came up with a concept that, for me, was singular. I’m not sure I could even explain it here if I needed to… but I don’t need to… you should see it. I love the music (GIacchino, of course). I love the ideas. And the execution is like watching a magic trick you have seen 1000 times, but still can’t quite figure out… and don’t want to. A masterpiece.

I will watch The Gruffalo with my son, in a few years, over and over and over again. It’s a great piece of filmmaking, highly stylized, with a challenging story, and god stuff for both adults and kids. It’s a bit like Bill Goldman’s The Princess Bride, though it never leans quite as far to the adult side.

Let’s Pollute is basic satire with style. It’s a spin on classic public service messages, just with the exact opposite message you would expect. And just when you think you’ve got the gag and it’s getting repetitive, it finds a new spin on the idea. Excellent stuff.

Madagascar, A Journey Diary mixes a variety of animation styles, endlessly jumping from style to style as it offers a Madagascan adventure. Very, very beautiful, eye-catching, with great music, and what feels very organic.

Last but not least, The Lost Thing is a sophisticated children’s book come to life. It feels like the experience of a book that sinks in more deeply as you read it over and over again with your child. There is a lesson, but it’s a subtle as every other element of the film.


20 Weeks Extra: Could There Be One More Turn?

While there is a narrative out there that The King’s Speech is the next Ordinary People, there are three big problems with the claim. First, there is the perception of groupthink inside The Academy that is wildly overstated and oversimplified. Second, if The Academy thought like that – “we screwed up before.. let’s fix it!” – they would have nominated more commercial product last year after The Dark Knight was the alleged reason for the move to 10 nominees. Third, what is the Raging Bull of this season? I would say that it’s pretty clear that there is none.

Perhaps your comparison is Rocky winning over Network, All The President’s Men, Taxi Driver, and Bound For Glory.

The full column


Gurus Go Regal

With 9 of the 15 Gurus voting so far, every single one is picking The King’s Speech for the win…



It’s been one of those crazed, computerless days.

I’m not shocked by the nominations. No, it’s not good for True Grit‘s Best Picture winning odds. You have to go back to 2001 and 1999 to find DGA Achievement In Motion Pictures winners whose films didn’t win Best Picture (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Saving Private Ryan)… and in both cases, the Best Picture winner was one of the other nominees.

I would say that Fincher is a stone lock to win this award.


Welcome To The Future

I am thrilled to see that Fox Searchlight and FFE are moving into the future, to sanity, by making their movies digitally available to the biggest of the guilds, SAG, and their 100,000 awards voting members.

I was stunned by all the whining, back when January was floated for 2012, about how digital was not viable. It is completely viable. And devices that go to your television set with HD versions of these films should become the norm in 2011/12. It’s better for everyone.

Digital delivery can make the awards themselves better, as the excuses about not allowing documentaries and foreign language films to be voted on like the rest of the films can finally be overcome. Screeners want to be free!!! (ha ha) But seriously, there can be more films available to voters in higher quality in more quantity and when the voting period ends, the movies go away. (On screeners this year, there are a lot of unrealistic prompts about destroying screeners when the season ends.)

Now if I can only get on that list with Searchlight to download these movies!!!!


8 Weeks To Oscar: It’s Getting Serious

The column



One real surprise… I Love You Phillip Morris

And in doc, the Nilsson getting a nom after being in the desert for 3 years is a pleasant surprise.

Original Screenplay
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
Please Give

Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours
I Love You Phillip Morris
The Social Network
The Town
True Grit

Documentary Screenplay
Enemies of the People
Freedom Riders
Inside Job
The Two Escobars
Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?




127 Hours and The Town are not all the way over the hump. Everyone else is, it would seem.

Is there anything else to say?

DGA Nominees to come…

Fincher, Coens, Aronofsky, Nolan, Russell

Could flip Russell for Boyle or Cholodenko. Real surprise would be Affleck or Tom Hooper.


9 Weeks To Oscar: Let The Narratives Begin!

Here we are… ballots are out… Phase One will be over in a couple of weeks… and the battle for The Big Win has begun. The primary weapon is in the process of changing from the movies themselves (central to The Great Settling™… c/o Mr Condon) to The Narratives.

The Narratives are the big perspective ideas, almost always instigated by someone with an ax to grind or a bonus to earn. Narratives should not be confused with Dirty Pool, which is when some personal or oddball issue comes to the forefront for no other reason than to tear this film or that film down. The media, of course, can come up with stupid ideas on its own as well… like the notion that Natalie Portman’s pregnancy is somehow a strategic event in support of her potential Oscar nomination and win.

The Narrative for The King’s Speech goes something like… “It’s a movie about humanity and humility… one of the most powerful men in the world is really just a broken child and with the help of a commoner, he can be healed… it’s about a woman who is so strong and wise that she can change her husband’s life and never lose her dignity… it’s about a commoner whose principles are strong enough to withstand the pressures of the monarchy, back when the monarchy meant something… so do you really want to vote for a movie about a rich jerk or some crazy mixed up girl or a violent western that the filmmakers admit they dumbed down to make more money… or do you want to vote for an epic story of courage and overcoming obstacles?”

The rest…

1 Comment »

The Silly Season: Crap Excuses For Not Winning Best Picture

I am always thrilled when the excuses for not winning start coming just after the ballots go out, before most of them come in, and long before nominations are announced. Here is the short-list…

The Kids Are All Right: Sexism, Homophobia
The Social Network: Qualityphobia
The King’s Speech: Anti-Faux-Anti-Semitism
The Fighter: Classism
Black Swan: Sexism, Genrephobia
Inception: Blockbusterphobia
Toy Story 3: Animation Category Syndrome
True Grit: Westernaphobia
Winter’s Bone: Indiephobia, Poor White People phobia
127 Hours: “Dey took my t’umb, Cha-leeeeee!”
The Town: Septemberphobia
Another Year: Mirrorphobia
Inside Job: Docophobia
Biutiful: Francophobia (Generalissimo Franco, that is)


Burlesque: Cheraphobia, Botoxaphobia, Gauzeaphobia
How to Train Your Dragon: Katzenbergaphobia
The Karate Kid: Willaphobia
Salt: High Blood Pressure phobia
Please Give: Nextdoorneightboraphobia

I don’t think it’s crazy to say that gay or black are not the favorite things at The Academy. But if you build it, they will vote. Small, quality movies like The Kids Are All Right are fortunate to be in the game, regardless of these issues. Great movies sneak in every year. Good movies sneak in with a group of ten. But winning is about connecting in a very certain way… and yeah, it’s highly unlikely that Kids will win… but it’s also highly unlikely that at least half of the nominees might win. Enjoy getting there and don’t pander for votes. It’s beneath all of you.


Oscar Stuffing

A last Gurus look for 2010… back in 2011.

And 10 Weeks To Oscar wonders:

The thing about The 2010 Race is… there is no clear choice.

There is no dominant box office smash to be the Goliath. There is no extreme underdog to be the David. The only franchise that might demand to be honored for its history is animated.

But some film has to win!

With no obvious winner, everyone really does have a chance.


Notes On Award Season… Backseat Driver’s Edition

1. Michelle Robertson, whose awards campaign strategy has a long history of success, believes in the quiet sell. After bringing this style to Focus and almost upsetting Chicago with The Pianist – no director available for interviews & all the controversy you could ask for – and helping to guide the awards success of Lost In Translation and then Brokeback Mountain, she moved on to WB three seasons ago, where they ended up winning in her first year for The Departed. I’m not saying – nor would Michelle – that she deserves all the credit or that it is all about her strategy, but her influence of low-key campaigning has been very successful… including on The Blind Side, which no one thought would be nominated for Oscar, much less win. If you know anything about Eastwood, he and his closest allies does call all the shots, including screening plans, materials, etc. And WB does what he tells them to. As for Blind Side, it wasn’t WB’s movie, they weren’t going to run an Oscar campaign and eat their entire distribution fee. And when the film became such a commercial success, Alcon and WB made a deal on a campaign… got a BP nomination and Bullock won. There was nothing surprising about it.

2. If you’ve been nominated, it is not too late to win. Period. Just as Team Hurt Locker.

Is Rabbit Hole too late? Is True Grit too late?

3. Every studio but Sony Classics has been slow out of the gate this season. The only one that doesn’t appear to have done so was Sony and Social Network, but that’s only because of the October release. Their awards campaign is starting as late as anyone’s. The King’s Speech has been a frontrunner since September and just got its final creative materials out a couple of weeks ago.

By the way… the late season strategy that they are following is not only cheaper, but again, worked last year. Next year, they will emulate whoever wins this year. Welcome to the world of Oscar strategy.

4. Slumdog Millionaire was not made for Warner Bros, It was made for Warner Independent Pictures, which was unceremoniously shuttered months before they sold distribution rights to Fox Searchlight. The odds of the parent of a shuttered art house arm going ahead with distribution of a small film set in a foreign country with a lot of subtitles are virtually non-existent. WB could not have done with Slumdog what Searchlight did. They just aren’t built for it. Either was WIP, for that matter. I don’t think WB deserves a pat on the back for letting it go… but they do deserve credit for making it into a profit center that would have likely been a loss any other way. Compared to Paramount giving up Twilight, it was a great studio win.

5. Every film with Best Picture potential also has to deal with the full hand it is dealt. How do you push Inception hard without Leo and with only infrequent opportunity to exploit Chris Nolan? Answer: You don’t. You go the other way and hope it comes to you. Similar problem for Paramount with Shutter Island… they had an event a couple of weeks ago and both Scorsese and DiCaprio were satellited in… cool, but not the stuff of strong pushes. If Focus really wanted to push The American, how would they do it with virtually no Clooney availability? Christian Bale will not do Oscar interviews of any kind for The Fighter. Annette Bening is doing very little for The Kids Are All Right… so Focus is working everyone else’s ass off.

No one is casting aspersions on the talent. It’s just hard to push hard when your talent is not front and center, especially when you have 10 films and most of them are delivering talent left and right.

There is nothing wrong with being ignorant about these things… unless you are telling people that you know something… more than a studio chief even. Oy. It is to laugh.


Irrelevant Award Week Continues: National Bored Of Review

Every year, like sand through a bathing suit, these are the days of our “so what?”

The Social Network will be nominated by The Oscars in most, if not all, the categories it has won here. I’m not sure how honored Mr. Sorkin will be to be the opposite number to the screenwriter of Buried, but he will have many, many chances to hone his Oscar speech over the next few months, deservedly so.

Christian Bale’s inevitable no-show will be another non-story as the season progresses.

Sony Classics got their bone(s) with Lesley Manville and Jacki Weaver… but this is not enough to assure nominations, though Lesley is a pretty likely nominee.

The non-existence of Fox Searchlight in these nominations should tell you two things. 1. NBR nominators (a small group inside of the group) are dumb. And 2. Searchlight didn’t play the NBR game and this is the price.

Don’t even get me started on the lack of nods to Biutiful by Numbskull Boenheads & Rocketscientists. Forget the Best Picture or Top Ten… 5 foreign language films and 10 indies and no room for it. I wonder whether Javier’s unavailability in the last month had something to do with that. Hmmm… such an honorable group.

Done now, thanks. Don’t let the writers twisting themselves in knots trying to analyze this monkey show hit you on the ass.


Indie-ish Spirit

Let’s be clear from the start… I embrace all the movies that the Independent Spirit Awards have selected for their Best Feature award… and I am a little disgusted that an award for independent spirit has become, almost, a studios-only thing. Two for Focus, two for Searchlight, one for Roadside Attractions, which with its $6m-plus indie success with Winter’s Bone is “the outsider” in this group with the two surviving studio Dependents.

But hey, if you’re making your first feature or made a movie for under $500,000, you get to be part of this “independent” event as well.

Four of Five of the ISA nominees making the Oscar BP list, which is very possible, doesn’t signal the health of the indie business, but the failure of FIND to find a way to get serious about supporting truly independent film. With due respect, it has become a joke.

Can we really take The King’s Speech winning Best Foreign Film at an award’s show seriously?

So, here is your list of Indie Spirit winners, to be given out a couple of nights before the Oscars…

Black Swan
James Franco
Natalie Portman or Nicole Kidman
Dale Dickey for Winter’s Bone
Can’t call Sppt Actor – could be Hawkes, Murray, or Ruffalo
Darren Aronofsky
Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini or Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko for Screenplay
Matthew Libatique
Exit Through the Gift Shop

And congratulations to Lena Dunham for winning Best First Screenplay and probably the Best First Feature award… unless the profile of Get Low take over that Best First Feature vote.

Again, I don’t want to be unkind to the many deserving people that have been nominated for an award this morning. Awards are nice. I am thrilled that Black Swan is going to get some statues, with Portman and Libatique the only ones likely to be in serious competition to win on Sunday night. I want all the recognition for Get Low that it can have, even if the the feature nominating committee preferred Greenberg in every way, even making a sixth slot in Best Actress so it could get Greta Gerwig in… and not Julianne Moore… and not any of them dang foreigners that The American Independent Spirit Award ignores no matter what their contribution each year.

Couldn’t FIND create an award for the middle class of indie… maybe films that won’t ever be on 1000 screens or more. Keep the Show Us The Money awards if you need to… Dick Clark Productions – Creator of the Golden Globes myth – would not like it if you pulled them.

You know, the day (or night) at the beach is a lot of fun. It is another large gathering of people who work around each other all year long, year after year, and a pre-Oscar reunion for all of us who trudge through the award season. FIND dredges up the same crew, with some annual variations for new FIND insiders, to do their nominations, year after year, and then leaves it open to a voting group that has no qualifications except for the money to buy a pass to a bunch of “free” screenings, turning it from a vote of the insider elite to a popularity contest. Weak play on both sides of that equation.

It wouldn’t much matter, except that indie really needs the support right now. And unless you are one of the Chosen Ones, you won;’t get that from FIND at the Indie Spirits.

There is nothing quite as sad as a great earned opportunity (what FIND has built in the ISAs) turned into another brick in the wall. But I guess I shouldn’t use that metaphor… The Wall would not qualify for an ISA, except as a Foreign Film.


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