By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
End of Days: April 26, 2011
It seems I picked a good week to be out of town…
There is really no news of significance this week. So the media circle jerk seems to be content to continue to beat the Elvis Mitchell story to death. Between The Hollywood Reporter suggesting, while offering no reason/excuse for suggesting it, that Elvis might lose his KCRW gig, Anne Thompson spinning some misinformation and a lot of rumors, and Ebert (and our own Kim Voynar) overreaching to protect him, I am sickened by the ongoing spectacle.
And MCN is somewhat responsible, as our Ray Pride was the person who sent Duncan Jones’ tweet to Movieline in the first place, as well as linking it to the specific passage in the pre-Jones screenplay. It never occurred to Ray or me that all this drama would result.
Look, I am no Elvis fan. I don’t think he’s special. There are a parade of well-intended festivals that have been hung out to dry at the last minute by Elvis with lame excuses or no excuses. (The border incident with the cash was NOT on the way to TIFF.) The list of jobs… forget not showing up, not even signing a contract… is mesmerizing. I think he manages up well, but in the end, the show he does on KCRW is important. He is not.
For the record, the only person who stepped up to defend Mitchell from my tweeted “saw that coming”s after he fell out of the Ebert show was KCRW producer/publicist Sarah Spitz. I have not mentioned this publicly before, as it seemed idiotic to drag her into it, but since THR has, she told me that he had been great with the station for all these years and that suggesting he was trouble was not at all her experience of Elvis. As far as I know, the only moment there was ever any talk about Elvis losing that job was when he took the NYT job and there was a question whether NYT would him to do double duty elsewhere.
The Hollywood Reporter doesn’t even offer a reason why they might believe his job at KCRW is in any jeopardy. Horrible. Embarrassing.
Still, anyone who hires him without knowing what they are getting is a bigger fool than Elvis could ever be. The record is DEEP. If, as Anne Thompson is now reporting, Elvis was fired because Summit bitched to Nikki (the idea that it’s Penske who is worrying about Summit is laughable… they have been top Nikki manipulators forever and their main Whisperer started manipulating her years before Summit existed at another studio… we used to laugh about it over lunch), Elvis should sue. He would win. Of course, he’d never show up for the court case. And as I noted before, I’d be shocked if there is any paperwork on him with MMC aside from a W-4.
If he was fired to save money and is being smeared by MMC, he should sue.
If he was fired because he was non-responsive, whoever was surprised at MMC is Hollywood’s Favorite Idiot this week, as Elvis being non-responsive is as predictable as the sun rising in the east or Hollywood unions being screwed by AMPTP.
But again, I don’t think Summit actually noticed. I don’t think Duncan was on a crusade. He didn’t contact Movieline, if ever, until after he had tweeted and Ray sent it to Movieline later, asking for comment. If I had to guess, I would guess that Nikki is Anne’s source on this, that it’s an outright lie, and that Anne printed it because Nikki told her (so it must be true) and she got so much attention for the Elvis rundown already. (You know, the one that attacks him personally, professionally, and in a mix of the two arenas, and ends with, “I almost feel sorry for him.”)
(Side Note: Anne’s suggestion that Elvis was a bad fit at Movieline because he was not interested in social media is made laughable by surviving Movieline critic Stephanie Zacherek and her 6 tweets this week… 1 on the elephant from Water For Elephants, 3 on Pootie Tang, 1 praising the NYT obit section, and 1 linking a piece of Elvis’ writing for the site in an act of solidarity.)
Was the Source Code review incident a firing offense? Sure… if you want to fire someone and you’ve determined what actually happened. But not a single person has claimed to know exactly what happened. And personally, I don’t think a single person other than Elvis actually knows what did happen. So maybe we should all STFU.
Of course, the single greatest testament to what bullshit this all is… Elvis’ Source Code review, complete with the pipe that was not in the movie, is still up on Movieline, 27 days later, with it’s 14 comments, about half of which are about the pipe.
This was such a big deal and they didn’t pull or edit the piece. Oy.
And now, I have shot my mouth off on the subject… deconstructing media and not knowing any more about what is really going on at MMC regarding Elvis than any of the others. So now, I will STFU about this pimple on the industry’s ass story, filled with mean, craven, manipulative, unhappy people.